What's Happening at the USAID Trade Hub

Thursday, January 31 2013

Nanabea Adarkwah-Agyapong

Cutsoms officer inspect goods at the Port of Dakar.
Cutsoms officer inspect goods at the Port of Dakar.
The Port of Dakar has identified an office to host a Port Information Center in Senegal modeled on the USAID Trade Hub-supported Border Information Centers now operating at the Ghana-Togo, Burkina Faso-Ghana and Benin-Nigeria borders. The new center will provide practical information on processes and procedures to traders and serve as a platform to address problems that cause delays and increase costs. www.borderlesswa.com

31 shea industry stakeholders from shea national associations in Benin, Ghana and Nigeria learned how to develop and execute advocacy strategies to improve laws and regulations to benefit the shea industry in their respective countries at a workshop organized by the USAID Trade Hub-supported Global Shea Alliance in Tamale, Ghana. www.globalshea.com

Internationally renowned West African designer Cheick Diallo worked with two USAID Trade Hub-assisted handcrafts exporters in Ghana to develop new home décor products that will be exhibited at Ambiente, Europe’s largest gift fair, in February. www.africa-now.org

At least two new international buyers will visit West Africa to identify potential sources of cashew nuts after meeting with representatives of the African Cashew Alliance at the Peanut and Treenut Processors Association annual meeting in California. Other buying companies expressed interest in the ACA Quality and Sustainability Seal program as well. The conference included updates on the recently enacted Food Safety and Modernization Act, with buyers indicating that food safety and quality is their top priority for new business, reaffirming the importance of the Seal program to attracting business. www.africancashewalliance.com

The Center for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI), a Dutch development agency, expressed interest in working with USAID Trade Hub-assisted exporting companies in the specialty foods sector after meetings with the USAID Trade Hub in Dakar, Senegal. The meetings focused on CBI’s new export promotion initiative targeting exporters in sesame, peanuts, vegetables oil, and processed foods. www.tasteafricanow.com

The ACA Quality and Sustainability Seal program advisor, a former vice president for quality at Planters, began visiting processing companies in Benin, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania and Togo to assess compliance with the Seal requirements. The ACA launched the Seal program in 20l2; two companies have obtained certification and six others are in the process of obtaining it. The Seal confirms a company’s compliance with international standards on food safety and quality, improving their ability to market raw cashew kernels to international buyers. www.africancashewalliance.com

The USAID Trade Hub assisted handcrafts companies in Niger to prepare to exhibit their products at Ambiente, Europe’s largest gift fair, Feb. 15-19 in Frankfurt, Germany. GIE Dani, an association of 14 handcrafts cooperatives across Niger, will represent the cooperatives’ products at Ambiente. USAID Trade Hub Home Décor and Fashion Accessories Advisor Elaine Bellezza assisted companies in developing products for the show. The companies are exhibiting under the AfricaNow! brand, which is managed by the USAID Trade Hub, and features products on a popular “company showcase” page on its website. www.africa-now.org

150 industry stakeholders learned about the USAID Trade Hub’s work in the specialty foods and shea industries at the Sustainable Food Summit in California. Companies are looking to further their commitment and investment to fair and sustainable business practices.  Attendees included national supermarket chains, media, manufacturers, retailers and brands, such as Publix, Wegmans, Krogers, Whole Foods, Sunopta, Real Food Company, Annie’s, Smuckers, Clif Bar, Del Monte, Numi Tea, Forbes.com, Future 500, and Sustainable Life Media.  The USAID Trade Hub also discussed opportunities with stakeholders at a booth at the event. www.watradehub.com

More than 100 U.S. businesses and media professionals learned about the USAID Trade Hub’s work across its targeted sectors at a Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability forum in Los Angeles. The event highlights the importance of small passionate businesses in driving growth for sustainable African businesses. www.watradehub.com

A new study by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency proposes that Togo reopen a rail link between Lome and Blitta and build an inland dry terminal at Blitta in order to relieve traffic and provide further options for transport in the country. About 80 stakeholders discussed transport issues, including overloading of trucks, at a JICA-sponsored workshop in Lome. JICA has enthusiastically embraced the USAID Trade Hub-supported Borderless Alliance and will present at the Alliance’s annual conference Feb. 21-22 in Accra, Ghana. www.borderlesswa.com 

More than 30 stakeholders participated in the launch of the Borderless Alliance National Committee in Niger, including CEOs of Nigerien companies, transport unions, professional groups of economic operators, the Secretary General of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts of Niger, representatives of multinationals such as Nestlé and Cotecna, and representatives of the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Security. www.borderlesswa.com

More than 80 stakeholders participated in a Border Information Center workshop at the Ghana-Burkina Faso border at Paga where officers of the police, immigration and customs services based at the border pledged to instruct their agents to reduce harassment of trucks carrying in-transit goods on the Tema-Ouagadougou corridor. The BIC event was organized by the USAID Trade Hub with partners at the Ghana Shippers’ Authority. The BIC was launched in September 2012. www.borderlesswa.com

The Japanese International Cooperation Agency met with USAID Trade Hub transport experts to discuss collaboration and the Agency’s participation at the Borderless 2013: Connecting Markets conference, Feb. 21-22, in Accra, Ghana. Japanese development assistance related to trade facilitation is focusing on improving the efficiency of Joint Border Posts and customs reform, in general. JICA has also undertaken several corridor studies (available on the Borderless publications webpage) with a focus on infrastructure and an ambitious traffic flows study which the USAID Trade Hub has published on its website. The Japanese experts expressed their strong interest in working closely with the USAID Trade Hub, the Borderless Alliance and the yet-to-be-established West Africa Transport and Facilitation Observatory. www.borderlesswa.com

The USAID Trade Hub has completed a preliminary drafts of the Truck Drivers Guide to Senegal and the Truck Drivers Guide to Côte d’Ivoire after close collaboration with stakeholders in each country. The guides will be published and formally released in February. www.borderlesswa.com 

Senegal’s National Director of Security, the Deputy Director of Operations-Employment of the High Commander of the Gendarmerie, General de Brigade, and the Director of the Business Environment of APIX (Senegal’s Agency of Investment Promotion and Major Projects) expressed support for the Borderless Alliance in separate follow-up meetings with the USAID Trade Hub after the launch of the Borderless Alliance National Committee in the country in January. www.borderlesswa.com


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Joint Regional Reports on Road Governance
2nd Trade Hub / ATP / ALCO Joint Regional Report on Road Governance (Sep. 2010)
1st Trade Hub / ATP / ALCO Joint Regional Report on Road Governance (Mar. 2010)
Transport Studies
Trends in Transport and Logistics on the Tema-Ouaga-Bamako Corridor (May 2013)
Trucking to West Africa’s Landlocked Countries (Sep. 2010) - Market Structure and Conduct
Implementation of Axle Weight Rules in UEMOA Member States (Jul. 2010) - Lessons learned from Transit Traffic in Ghana
Transport & Logistics Costs on the Tema-Ouagadougou Corridor (Apr. 2010)
Transport & Logistics Costs on the Lomé-Ouagadougou Corridor (Jan. 2012)
Other Publications
The Truck Driver’s Guide to Ghana (Aug. 2010)
Required Interstate Documents for Ghanaian Truck Drivers

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