Design Network Africa facilitates designer dialogue, collaboration
16 designers from across the continent, including Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, and Senegal, discussed the challenges to the competitiveness of African exporters of home décor and fashion accessories products during a three-day workshop in Accra, Ghana. The workshop included renowned U.S. designer Stephen Burks and market specialist Colleen Pendleton. Design Network Africa conducted the workshop and the USAID Trade Hub co-sponsored the event under the AfricaNow!
brand and network.
Specialty foods products exported
A $20,000 shipment of specialty food products, including baobab powder, jams and juices, was facilitated by the USAID Trade Hub’s specialty foods team from Dakar, Senegal, to a U.S.-based distributor. Two companies, which had met the distributor at the Fancy Food Show in Washington, D.C., cooperated to complete the shipment.
Bankers learn about financing cashew and Development Credity Authority
22 bankers at the Banque Ouest Africain de Développement
(BOAD) and from Ecobank Benin participated in a USAID Trade Hub bankers’ training in Lome, Togo, with support from the African Cashew Alliance
. The trainings fell under an MOU between the ACA, USAID and BOAD signed in May 2012. The USAID Trade Hub Finance Director presented on aspects of structuring deals in the cashew sector. A separate access to finance workshop in Dakar, Senegal, involved 20 Ecobank managers from eight countries. The bankers learned about the USAID Trade Hub’s targeted export sectors and how to utilize the Development Credit Authority guarantee program to increase access to finance.
More companies sign up for the ACA Quality and Sustainability Seal program
Food Pro Ltd. in Nigeria is the most recent company to sign up for the African Cashew Alliance Quality and Sustainability Seal
program, which addresses food safety and quality issues of concern to international buyers. Afokantan in Benin also registered for the seal in September and a company located in Tanzania became the first to do so from East Africa. The ACA Business Advisor assessed the company during a technical visit. The company will create more than 400 jobs in Ilorin by 2013 when it commences operations. The Seal, launched in 2011, is explained in a new USAID Trade Hub video
Report presented to stakeholders in Côte d'Ivoire, Borderless Alliance launches chapter
More than 100 transport stakeholders in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, participated in a USAID Trade Hub presentation of the USAID-UEMOA 19th quarterly report
on checkpoints, delays and bribes. Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Transport and Chamber of Commerce collaborated on the event. Among the participants were representatives of the ministries and UEMOA; the customs, police and gendarmerie services; shippers and freight forwarders; traders and consumer associations; transporters and drivers from Côte d’Ivoire and Mali; and, the ports of Abidjan and San Pedro. Road safety, Borderless Alliance membership and objectives, procedures at the Port of Abidjan and escort convoys were the primary issues raised. During the same period, the Borderless Alliance launched a national chapter. More than 100 stakeholders participated in the launch, including Nestle and Olam, and other leading regional traders.
Border Information Center assists traders
9 traders requested assistance at the Border Information Center
at the Ghana-Togo border in September, the center reported. Traders confronted with problems related to moving goods across the border, such as documentation requirements, were assisted. The Center also worked with the border’s transport coordinator to address parking issues, which were leading to congestion.
West Africa Trade and Facilitation Observatory gains momentum
Participants at the World Bank’s Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Transport Program meeting in Cotonou, Benin, learned about the USAID Trade Hub-supported Borderless initiative and expressed interest in a West Africa Transport and Facilitation Observatory, an idea put forward by the USAID Trade Hub. A new World Bank regional transport program, the measurement of border crossing times and the usefulness of transport observatories were other issues discussed. In a side meeting, UEMOA and ECOWAS reported that the two regional bodies have finalized the concept note for the West Africa Transport and Facilitation Observatory and would now take further steps to see the idea realized.
Stakeholders begin drafting Truck Drivers Guide to 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, 35 km from Dakar. Officials said they are raising awareness of 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. Guides to Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Togo have already been published and are available online