USAID Supports Center to Boost West Africa-U.S. Trade

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Sharon Kellman Yett
(233) 30-274-1599

Accra, Ghana – On April 12 and 13, the USAID West Africa Trade and Investment Hub (Trade Hub) will train coordinators from seven West African countries to assist businesses with the processes and documentation required for exporting to the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Coordinators from AGOA Trade Resource Centers (ATRCs) in Ghana as well as Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Senegal will convene for training on how to deliver services in trade intelligence, export development, business promotion and trade facilitation to existing and potential exporters. Participants will also learn from best practices across the region and share experiences in supporting exporters.

Hosted within local institutions, the ATRCs have assisted over 2,700 businesses seeking to export to the United States under AGOA, which waives duties and quotas on thousands of goods made in eligible sub-Saharan African countries. Since 2005, USAID has provided grants to build the sustainability of the ATRC network and the host institutions which provide trade-related services to private sector companies.  The grants cover training and the costs of building a database of exporters, further enabling ATRCs to develop exporters’ capacity, market linkages, and sector-specific strategies to boost trade.

USAID supports greater use of AGOA’s tariff advantages across West Africa. Each ATRC is expected to undertake activities that enhance the export potential of companies seeking to take advantage of AGOA. These activities include: developing and providing trade intelligence services through trade and business associations or directly to individual businesses; promoting trade and export development advisory services by providing hands-on assistance directly to companies to help them understand market requirements and regulations, packaging/labeling, costing, and finance; providing business promotion services with trade show/fair participation and facilitation of regional and international business linkages; and providing customs documentation assistance to businesses.

This support is building a solid and sustainable network of local institutions that can tailor services to the private sector to enhance their capacity to trade regionally and export to international markets.