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

Trade Hub-ProFAB team advance ETLS scorecard development

At the request of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Trade Hub and the Food Across Borders (ProFAB) program are developing a framework for a scorecard for member states to evaluate their own progress in implementing the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS). From July 17-19, a proposal writing team—consisting of the Hub’s… 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

Borderless Alliance sparks discussion about cross border trade facilitation at annual conference

The Trade Hub participated in the annual conference of Borderless Alliance—a West African trade and transport advocacy organization and Trade Hub partner—in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from May 10-12.  The Trade Hub’s Mr. Chongo Mukupa, Trade and Transport Facilitation Specialist, and Mr. Kossi Dahoui, Transport Facilitation Specialist, were among the over 100 participants from the private… Read More

ETLS Scorecard moves forward with insights from East Africa

Regional stakeholders held an April 21 meeting in the Senegalese capital Dakar to discuss creating a scorecard for monitoring and publicizing implementation of the region’s free-trade agreement: the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS). Participants included the Trade Hub’s Chief of Party Carol Adoum and Trade and Transport Facilitation Specialist,… Read More

Taking ETLS compliance message to southern Mali

The Hub’s Transport Specialist, Mr. Kossi Dahoui, contributed expertise to a road show organized by the Borderless Alliance  and the USAID-funded Food Across Borders program in Sikasso, southern Mali. Participants numbering about 70 included government officials, representatives of women traders associations and exporters and importers of agricultural produce as well as officials of partner projects… Read More

In Guinea-Bissau, exporters lay groundwork for national AGOA strategy

In the capital of Guinea-Bissau, participants at a Trade Hub workshop on the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) developed a series of recommendations about how a national AGOA strategy should be developed. Co-hosted with the Global Fairness Initiative, a U.S.-based organization, the Feb. 15-16, 2017 workshop attracted 40 operators in cashew, handicrafts, mango… Read More

Benin becomes fourth West African country to drop trade barrier at Hub’s urging

In direct violation of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS), the certificate of origin (COO) requirement hinders the free movement of agricultural goods across West African borders. The Trade Hub’s direct advocacy efforts have helped eliminate this requirement in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, and now, Benin. This month, the Government of Benin agreed to… Read More

Cereals forum draws sector representatives from across Africa and Europe

More than 200 cereals sector stakeholders from West, East and Southern Africa, as well as several European countries, came together at a conference in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso at a forum organized by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), Nov. 29-Dec. 1. The Trade Hub contributed financially to the program, which included officials… Read More

SMEs look to bridge the information gap to boost regional trade and access global markets

From October 31 to November 4, 47 regional small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) convened in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire to share the challenges of growing their businesses and accessing international markets. This included specific conversations with officials from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and West African Monetary Zone (UEMOA) on how SMEs can… Read More

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