Ms. Abimbola Alwaod is a Nigerian small business owner who manufactures soap, melon seed powder and crayfish powder. Ms. Alwaod has tried to export to the U.S. but has been unsuccessful. She said she lacked information on quality and standards requirements and documentation mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which waives import duties on thousands of African-made products shipped to the U.S.
Ms. Alwaod was among 50 Nigerian potential agribusiness and apparel exporters who attended an April 4 AGOA information outreach workshop in Lagos, co-organized by the Trade Hub and the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC). Participants learned about the importance of export quality and standards, U.S. export requirements, FDA registration, export processing zones, product testing, and certifications.
“Nigeria needs to diversify its export portfolio, particularly in the wake of the falling oil prices in the international market,” said Mrs. G.K. Adhere, President of the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association. “The presentations were detailed and informative; now we are well-informed to take advantage of AGOA.”
The Hub’s Apparel Value Chain Specialist, Mr. Emmanuel Odonkor, explained U.S. market entry requirements and the difference between tailoring technique and line production, the importance of efficiency, and the third-country fabric waiver option AGOA offers Nigerian manufacturers. The Hub’s Finance and Investment Specialist, Mr. William Addo, addressed ways to finance exports.