Coordinators from five African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Trade Resource Centers—Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Togo—attended a two-day capacity building workshop from July 24-25 in Accra, Ghana. These ATRCs are recent recipients of Trade Hub grants, which they’ll use to organize AGOA promotional activities. These ATRCs join seven other export promotion institutions in West Africa that have benefited from the Trade Hub’s grant program.
The Trade Hub’s Chief of Party Ms. Carol Adoum opened the workshop by urging the ATRCs to engage businesses, customs officers, ministries of commerce, and other export stakeholders to maximize AGOA’s benefits in their respective countries. “You play a very important role because you are oftentimes at the beginning and the end of the export process,” said Ms. Adoum to the ATRC coordinators.
Senior AGOA Specialist Dr. Mohamed Abou-Iiana and AGOA Specialist Mr. Kara Diallo explained to participants the AGOA and General System of Preferences (GSP) rules of origin, AGOA documentation requirements, and ATRC objectives, strategies and services.
Participants also learned how to effectively communicate their activities through the right channels to reach their target audience and relevant stakeholders. “If you want to reach more people as quickly and as efficiently as possible with your message, you must advertise or publicize,” said Ms. Maria Gwira, Senior Communications Specialist at the Trade Hub.
The Trade Hub’s Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist Massamba Dieng also introduced participants to several tools to adequately report, monitor, and evaluate ATRC activities.
The training allowed the Trade Hub to review the administrative parts of the grant, including grant activities and deliverables, as well as procedures related to deliverable submission and payment.
The ATRC coordinators ended the training with a visit to Dignity/DTRT, the largest apparel producer in West Africa, so the coordinators could learn firsthand how this Trade Hub-supported firm has taken advantage of AGOA to increase Ghana’s export earnings.