At MAGIC, Ivorian apparel maverick debuts ready-to-wear couture

His father’s 27th child and his mother’s ninth, Aka Phillippe Kouame never learned a trade nor did he want to follow his father into farming in eastern Cote d’Ivoire. While majoring in business at the University of Abidjan, he struck an arrangement with his neighbor, a tailor, to market his “classic” men’s shirts. Mr. Kouame… Read More

Guinea and Mali become latest West African countries to drop costly trade barrier

At the Hub’s urging, the governments of Guinea and Mali have agreed to formally drop a moot requirement that traders of staple crops and livestock produce Certificates of Origin (COO), which adds time and costs to trade throughout the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). In direct violation of the three decades-old ECOWAS Trade… Read More

Cashew data collectors recommend improvements to ACA’s market information service

An African Cashew Alliance (ACA) workshop in early August gathered information from market analysts and data collectors from nine ACA member countries to guide improvements and boost use of its Market Information System (MIS). The August 1-3 workshop in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso—organized by the African Cashew Alliance with Trade Hub support — will inform a… Read More

Cereals Exchange strengthens business prospects for new and seasoned traders alike

When Colette Nakpergou gave the closing summary at the Cereals Exchange on behalf of the Togolese delegation, her compatriots let out a loud cheer in agreement: “The most important thing is that we cereals actors have to commit more in regional trade so that we can defeat road harassment not on paper but in real… Read More

Restoring cereals supply chains tops agenda at agro-industries forum in Abidjan

During a July forum in Côte d’Ivoire’s commercial capital, West Africa cereals stakeholders discussed business opportunities and supply solutions to the thorny problem of local agro-industries sourcing grains from abroad. As uncovered in an earlier Trade Hub report, agro-industries like breweries and animal feed processors in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Togo buy… Read More

Trade Hub workshop in Benin addresses aflatoxin contamination in cereal sourcing

Aflatoxins—caused by certain molds that occur in soil, decaying vegetation, and grains—seriously hinder West Africa’s regional cereals trade, and lead to serious health risks, including stunted growth, cancer, and death. A recent Trade Hub four-country study on cereals sourcing for the agro-industrial sector in West Africa revealed that most buyers import from outside the region… Read More

Getting Benin back on track to export apparel under AGOA

Benin has been eligible to export its textiles duty-free under the U.S. African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) since January 28, 2004. However, the country has not exported much under the preferential trade agreement, largely due to a nonfunctional AGOA visa system. During a mission in Benin last November, the Trade Hub offered to train apparel… Read More

Regional livestock association learns management and communications tools

West Africa’s only regional livestock associations, Confederation des Federations du Bétail et de la Viande de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (COFENABVI-AO), learned new tools from the Trade Hub in late May to improve project management processes and leverage internal and external communication. The Trade Hub supports COFENABVI-AO to strengthen its financial sustainability and develop targeted services… Read More

WAGN plans stronger project management and better branding and communications

A key strategic objective of the West Africa Trade and Investment Hub is to build the capacity of its regional partner organizations namely: West African Grains Network (WAGN), Borderless Alliance (BA), Confédération des Fédérations Nationales de la filière de bétail et viande de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (COFENABVI) and Réseau des Systèmes d’Information des Marchés en… Read More

Your packaging is your ambassador, women entrepreneurs learn at workshop

Thirty female entrepreneurs from Benin, Burkina Faso and Togo joined their Ghanaian counterparts to learn how to add value and better market their products at an April 25-26 workshop on proper packaging. The Trade Hub’s workshop for members of the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) was also livestreamed to members in Liberia. Led by Mr.… Read More

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