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What's Happening Now

February 5 Highlights
February 13, 2013, 4:31 pm

Featuring an interview with Paul Brenton, the World Bank’s Trade Practice Manager for Africa, and a review of the success of the USAID Trade Hub’s access to finance strategy, the USAID Trade Hub’s monthly newsletter, Tradewinds, was delivered to more than 12,000 subscribers. www.watradehub.com/tradewinds

Business
Six importers—members of the AfricaNow! network—represented products from USAID Trade Hub-assisted handcrafts producers at the New York International Gift Fair, presenting products from Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali and Senegal to thousands of professional buyers. NYIGF is the largest gift trade show in the US, attracting 35,000 buyers from across the globe. Swahili Imports, Eco Brazil, Tribalinks, Mbarre, Bamboula and Global Mamas participated at the show. www.africa-now.org

A U.S. investor will be one of the first companies to distribute 100% traceable shea from three suppliers in Burkina Faso, after learning about opportunities in the shea sector from the USAID Trade Hub. P2P distributors has a 20,000-square-foot warehouse and has hired two staff to manage the inventory and shipments. This will open the market to smaller retailers and manufacturers who are unable to source directly, and still allow them to connect with their suppliers on the ground and share their story with their customers. www.globalshea.com

More than 100 company managers in Sierra Leone participated in a USAID Trade Hub-sponsored workshop on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in Freetown. The Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce and the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) co-sponsored the event. The workshop focused on export readiness, access to finance, packaging and developing an export strategy. www.agoatoolkit.com

A new cashew processor in Nigeria has signed on to obtain the African Cashew Alliance’s Quality and Sustainability Seal, the first in the country to do so. The ACA’s assistance has helped the company improve operations and directly created 130 jobs in Ilorin (North Central Nigeria). The company expects to add new jobs in 2013 as it expands. www.africancashewalliance.com

More than 200 cashew farmers, processors and traders developed an action plan for the Nigerian cashew industry focused on improving quality, promoting cashew processing and growing the cashew crop during the Nigerian Cashew Stakeholders Forum in Abuja. The African Cashew Alliance President Georgette Taraf and Managing Director Christian Dahm attended the forum and advised stakeholders. The ACA will assist stakeholders in implementing the plan. www.africancashewalliance.com

Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture cited the USAID Trade Hub’s multiplier effect study (www.watradehub.com/resources/multiplier-effect) in remarks about alleviating poverty at the National Cashew Stakeholder Forum in Abuja. The study showed that the sale of $1,000 worth of raw cashew nuts leads to $1,430 in additional household income in a community – but the effect is nearly doubled when the raw cashew nuts are sold for local processing. Nigeria could generate more than $15 million in additional income for rural communities and create more than 12,000 new jobs if it processed 50% of its crop in Nigeria, the study showed. www.africancashewalliance.com

Borderless: Transport
About 100 people, including 20 women, participated in the formal release of the Truck Drivers Guide to Senegal, including representatives of the Ministry of Transport, the Chamber of Commerce, Customs, Police, Gendarmerie, ECOWAS Brown Card, Transporters and Drivers Union from Senegal.  The USAID Trade Hub prepared the guide with input from stakeholders; it is the fourth guide to be published, joining those covering the rules of the road in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Togo. www.borderlesswa.com 
91 transport and trade stakeholders in Burkina Faso participated in the first of a series of workshops on road governance that are taking place Jan. 30 to Feb. 8. Representatives of the customs, police and gendarmerie services joined with transporters and private sector stakeholders on the first day of the “Borderless Caravan,” which was held in Niangoloko. The USAID Trade Hub organized the caravan in collaboration with the Conseil Burkinabe des Chargeurs (CBC) and the Burkina Faso National Facilitation Committee Coordinating Authority (DGTTM). www.borderlesswa.com

The number of checkpoints where legal transit trucks are stopped has fallen from 190 in 2006 to 158 in the third quarter of 2012 across the countries participating in the USAID-UEMOA road governance initiative, a USAID Trade Hub review shows. The drop is reflective of a broad improvement in road governance: Delays have dropped by an average of 35% in the countries and bribes have dropped by an average of 61%. The initiative was launched in 2006 in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Togo; in 2009, Senegal joined the initiative and in 2010 Côte d’Ivoire joined. Ghana showed the greatest drop in bribes – a decline of 74%; Côte d’Ivoire saw the biggest drop in delays, a 64% drop. In real numbers, in 2006, drivers in Ghana paid about $4 per 100 km in bribes; today they pay about $1 per 100 km. In Côte d’Ivoire, trucks were delayed about 24 minutes per 100 km in 2010; today they experience delays of 9 minutes per 100 km. www.borderlesswa.com

Borderless: Business Environment
The Police Commissioner in Krake, Benin, removed all illegal checkpoints on the Benin side of the Benin-Nigeria border after a meeting facilitated by the new Benin-Nigeria Border Information Center, which opened in December 2012 with support from the USAID Trade Hub and the USAID Business Environment for Agile Markets. The meeting included the Commissioner, the Krake Customs Commissioner, the Manager of the truck parking facility, the Benin Shippers’ Council, the Chief of Krake Village, a representative of the king and the BIC Trade Advisor. www.borderlesswa.com

The Port of Abidjan and Scanning Systems, stakeholders in Côte d’Ivoire, are co-sponsoring the second annual Borderless Alliance conference, Feb. 21-22 in Accra, Ghana. The companies, which made the commitments in meetings with the USAID Trade Hub in Abidjan, join Ecobank, Bolloré Africa Logistics, Patterson Simon, the Ghana Shippers’ Authority, NEXIM Bank, Tarzan Enterprises and the Corporate Council on Africa as sponsors. www.borderlesswa.com

Hundreds of transport and trade facilitation stakeholders are expected in Accra, Ghana, at the Borderless Alliance’s second annual conference. “Borderless 2013: Connecting Markets,” is supported by the USAID Trade Hub, the USAID Business Environment for Agile Markets (BEAM) project and several private sector entities.

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