What's Happening at the USAID West Africa Trade Hub

Friday, November 16 2012

Nanabea Adarkwah-Agyapong

AfricaNow! Handcrafts Exporters Workshop held at SIAO 2012

87 handcrafts producers and exporters from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo participated in the USAID Trade Hub-supported AfricaNow! three-day handcrafts exporters workshop at the Salon International de l’Artisanat de Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. The workshop was supported by the USAID BEAM project as well. Sessions focused on marketing, costing and pricing, access to finance and the African Growth and Opportunity Act. U.S. Ambassador Thomas Dougherty and Burkina Faso’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Handcrafts Arthur Kafando opened the workshop. www.africa-now.org

Transport stakeholders learn about Border Information Center and Transport Observatory initiatives

100 stakeholders from across Africa learned about the Border Information Center initiative, the USAID Trade Hub-supported Borderless Alliance and the West Africa Transport and Facilitation Observatory, an idea proposed by the USAID Trade Hub, during the World Bank-funded Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Transport Program meeting in Cotonou, Benin. The World Bank used the meeting to discuss a new regional project on transport reform, the measurement of border crossing times, and the utility of transport observatories. In a side meeting, UEMOA and ECOWAS indicated that they had finalized a concept note and action plan to implement the West Africa Transport and Facilitation Observatory, which will allow the regional bodies to act internally on setting up the Observatory. www.borderlesswa.com 

First weighbridge now operating in Senegal

Senegal has installed its first weighbridge as the country moves toward fully implementing the UEMOA axleweight rules. The weighbridge is now operating at Diamniadio, 35km from Dakar. Officials said they are raising awareness of the axleweight rules before moving to fully enforce them. The regulations, along with other rules and procedures regarding the operation of transit trucks, will feature in the Truck Drivers Guide to Senegal, the fifth such guide published by the USAID Trade Hub in collaboration with transport stakeholders. Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Togo are subjects of the other guides. www.borderlesswa.com

BORDER INFORMATION CENTER LEADS TO IMPROVEMENTS AT GHANA-TOGO BORDER

Customs valuations at the Ghana-Togo border are now issued to traders within 24 hours – compared to 3-4 days previously – thanks to advocacy by the USAID Trade Hub-supported Border Information Center. The Center worked with BIVAC, the destination inspection company, to address the issues that were driving the delays. Customs valuations are used to calculate the duties on consignments. www.borderlesswa.com 

Specialty Foods companies participate in Paris foods show

West African specialty foods companies from Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal participated in the Salon International de l’Alimentation de Paris (SIAL) in the USAID Trade Hub-sponsored Taste of Africa Pavilion. USAID Trade Hub partner AAFEX, the association of African food exporters, sponsored 20 other African companies. The African Cashew Alliance represented cashew processors to buyers as well. The companies showcased ready-to-eat grains, exotic fruit jams and juices, as well as raw ingredients, like baobab pulp, hibiscus leaves, vegetable oils and cashews, and received attention and interest from importers, distributors and retailers from around the world. One of the sponsored companies confirmed orders for $50,000. Laboratoires Bioessence identified two key European partners that are keen to participate in their capital growth in order to finance the development and expansion of the company. www.tasteofafrica.com 

Health benefits of cashew to be researched

The Global Cashew Council will commission a scientific study on the effect of cashew consumption on inflammation and heart conditions in order to determine the feasibility of promoting the nutritional and health value of cashews to the consumer market. Members of the Global Cashew Council, including the associations of Brazil, India, Vietnam and Africa (ACA), as well as large processors and buyers (including ACA members Kraft Foods, Intersnack, Richard Franco Agency, Olam, and Rajkumar Impex) identified these areas for the research project on recommendation from the International Nut Council World Forum for Nutrition Research and Dissemination. The meeting took place during the SIAL food show in Paris, France. www.africancashewalliance.com 

Guinea-Bissau reduces cashew export tax, TOGO processor to expand

The government of Guinea Bissau announced a sharp reduction in taxes for the export of cashew. Total average taxes and tariffs decreased from $102 to $39 per ton, a cut of over 61%. This comes after ongoing hardship in the country where political unrest left farmers and exporters unable to export the cashew crop. www.africancashewalliance.com

A new cashew processor in Togo has hired 400 local employees and expects to double its processing capacity three-fold within the next year with support from the African Cashew Alliance. The ACA’s business advisor worked with the company’s managers, assessing its operations and providing guidance to increase productivity. www.africancashewalliance.com 

Apparel designers in Ghana learn about Source West Africa

12 apparel designers in Ghana learned about the USAID Trade Hub’s apparel work during a design workshop in Accra. The workshop looked at the demands of the international market for apparel designers and how to improve marketing and branding to reach more international buyers. The USAID Trade Hub promotes apparel sourcing in West Africa under the Source West Africa brand.

Global Shea Alliance introduces major buyer to shea producers in West Africa

A major international brand visited shea producers in Burkina Faso and Ghana with support from the Global Shea Alliance. The company, which produces a variety of popular personal care products in the U.S., has committed to joining the Alliance and participating in Shea 2013: Global Perspectives, the sixth annual shea industry conference, March 4-6, 2013, in Abuja, Nigeria. www.globalshea.com 

Borderless 2013: Connecting Markets announced in Burkina Faso

The USAID Trade Hub, the Borderless Alliance and the Conseil Burkinabé des Chargeurs announced the second annual Borderless Alliance conference, “Borderless 2013: Connecting Markets,” during a press conference in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Below, Justin Bayili, Managing Director of the Borderless Alliance, and Byron Battle, Director of the USAID Trade Hub, respond to questions from Radio and Television Burkina, the country’s largest broadcast network. www.borderlesswa.com 

20th road governance report shows improvements across the region

 

Delays and bribery at checkpoints operated by the customs service in Burkina Faso have declined significantly, according to the 20th report on checkpoints, bribes and delays published by UEMOA with support from the USAID Trade Hub. The report, now in draft form, will be published later this month. Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Togo had similarly positive news for stakeholders while results from Ghana and Mali were disappointing: delays increased in Ghana and Mali continues to lead the region in bribery. www.borderlesswa.com

Borderless Alliance conducts outreach in Nigeria and benin

150 stakeholders at the second annual Logistics West Africa conference in Lagos, Nigeria, learned about the Borderless campaign and Borderless Alliance to increase trade in West Africa. The Borderless Alliance President presented the Alliance’s vision to participants and the USAID Business Environment Director and Borderless Alliance Managing Director moderated roundtable discussions at the event. Meanwhile, 70 business executives in Nigeria participated in a CEOs dinner organized by the Borderless Alliance with support from the USAID Trade Hub. The event included senior managers at GMT Nigeria Limited, Energy Blocks, Fortune Global Shipping & Logistics Limited, Professional Shipping & Logistics Limited, Stratfield, DHL Global Forwarding, Avient, Flash Limited, Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL) and MGM Logistics Solutions. www.borderlesswa.com

In Benin, 44 stakeholders participated in the launch of the Borderless Alliance National Committee, including the Minister of Industries, Commerce and SMEs Madame Onifade Baba Moussa Onifade and USAID Benin Mission Director Kevin Armstrong. www.borderlesswa.com

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West Africa Road Governance Reports
23rd USAID/UEMOA Report (1st quarter 2013)
22nd USAID/UEMOA Report (4th quarter 2012)
21st USAID/UEMOA Report (3rd quarter 2012)
20th USAID/UEMOA Report (2nd quarter 2012)
19th USAID/UEMOA Report (1st quarter 2012)
18th USAID/UEMOA Report (4th quarter 2011)
17th USAID/UEMOA Report (3rd quarter 2011)
16th USAID/UEMOA Report (2nd quarter 2011)
15th USAID/UEMOA Report (1st quarter 2011)
14th USAID/UEMOA Report (4th quarter 2010)
13th USAID/UEMOA Report (3rd quarter 2010)
12th USAID/UEMOA Report (2nd quarter 2010)
11th USAID/UEMOA Report (1st quarter 2010)
10th USAID/UEMOA Report (4th quarter 2009)
9th USAID/UEMOA Report (3rd quarter 2009)
8th USAID/UEMOA Report (2nd quarter 2009)
7th USAID/UEMOA Report (1st quarter 2009)
6th USAID/UEMOA Report (4th quarter 2008)
5th USAID/UEMOA Report (3rd quarter 2008)
4th USAID/UEMOA Report (1st half 2008)
3rd USAID/UEMOA Report (4th quarter 2007)
2nd USAID/UEMOA Report (2nd- 3rd quarter 2007)
1st USAID/UEMOA Report (1st quarter 2007)

 

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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