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Compendium of Trade-Related Success Stories - African Global


This compendium includes success stories and case studies produced by implementers of USAID’s Africa Global
Competitiveness Initiative and complements the compendia published by AGCI in 2008, 2009, and 2010. It highlights
specific examples of successes that USAID programs have achieved in Africa, from reducing red tape and costs associated
with trade, to forging partnerships with farmer organizations, facilitating access to finance, and attaining new visibility in the
global marketplace. Many of these success stories have been generated by the four African Global Competitiveness Hubs—
located in Accra, Dakar, Nairobi, and Gaborone and managed by USAID’s regional missions in West, East, and Southern

Photos above
Left: Taste of Africa - a journey to savor supported by USAID‟s West Africa and Southern Africa Trade Hubs
Right: AfricaNow! is an innovative collaboration of modern home decor and accessories celebrating the fusion of African art
and life. Inspired by authentic African cultures with a contemporary influence, products include contemporary and traditional
jewelry, accessories, home textiles and furnishings, whimsical holiday ornaments, baskets, wood, ceramics, and more. Photo:
West Africa Trade Hub

Cover page photo
Markets work best when timely information about supply and demand conditions is readily available. Wholesalers exchange
information at the Xai-Xai City market. Photo: Michael Weber, USAID Mozambique

This publication was compiled by SEGURA IP3 Partners LLC for review by the U.S. Agency for International
Development. It was produced with funding from the Knowledge Sharing and Analysis Project for the African
Global Competitiveness Initiative.

                                                                                                                 USAID, FEBRUARY 2011


       Shea consumer demand and regional impact .................................................................................................. 2
       Villages commercialize for market gain ............................................................................................................. 3
       A new regional campaign, report, and partnership knock barriers ............................................................ 4
       African entrepreneur takes on U.S. market ..................................................................................................... 5
       Hanger producer opens African factories to meet demand ........................................................................ 6
       Portal provides information on transportation and trade issues in East Africa ...................................... 7
       Malian exporter leads shea federation............................................................................................................... 8
       Ethiopia business breaks into the U.S. market ................................................................................................ 9
       New trading platform helps smallholder farmers ......................................................................................... 10
       Civil society tackles road corruption ............................................................................................................... 11
       Cotton textiles in the tradition of kings.......................................................................................................... 12
       Incomes grow thanks to baobab seeds ........................................................................................................... 13
       Thanks to AGOA trade benefits, Cameroonian apparel firm grows ....................................................... 14
       Protecting water resources to improve coffee returns .............................................................................. 15
       Regional partnership yields many benefits ...................................................................................................... 16
       Community fisheries net bigger catches ......................................................................................................... 17
       USAID improves maize market value chain in Malawi................................................................................. 18
       Learning how to improve African markets..................................................................................................... 19
       Changing the mentality is the first step ........................................................................................................... 20

USAID, FEBRUARY 2011                                                                                                                                              1

SHEA CONSUMER                        250 women. In addition, Sekaf is
                                     building two others like it in
DEMAND AND                           collaboration with international
REGIONAL IMPACT                      buyers.

                                     “Buyers like our approach,”
THE SHEA INDUSTRY IS                 Senyo Kpelly of Sekaf Ghana said.
EXPANDING, CREATING JOBS             “We have our own improved
                                     method of processing for the
                                     butter. We‟ve seen things getting
                                     better and a lot of repeat
                                                                             Shea trees across northern Ghana in flower, just in
                                     Kpelly‟s experience is just one         time for Shea 2011!
                                     reflection of how well the shea         Photo: USAID West Africa Trade Hub
                                     industry is doing. Trade Hub Shea
                                     Expert Dr. Peter Lovett, a               The Trade Hub‟s value chain
                                     biochemist intimately familiar with      approach has improved the quality
                                     the product‟s valuable properties,       of shea butter made by women‟s
                                     has helped dozens of companies           groups in villages and of shea nuts
                                     and producer groups across West          traded in international markets,
                                     Africa improve the quality of their      while expanding markets for
                                     shea butter and link to inter-           producers through participation in
                                     national buyers.                         in ternational trade shows.
Millions of women in West Africa                                              Following the successful 2010
                                     “We are waking the industry
collect shea nuts for export.                                                 annual international conference in
                                     across the region,” Lovett said.
Photo: USAID West Africa Trade Hub                                            Benin in March 2010, the Trade
                                     Indeed, major international buyers
                                                                              Hub is organizing the key industry
                                     of shea nuts and makers of
                                                                              2011 event on April 6 and 7 in
                                     specialty fats are looking closely at
“Buyers like our                     opportunities in Nigeria. In 2009, a
                                                                              Accra, Ghana, under the theme:
approach. We have our                                                         Sustainable Solutions.
                                     new exporter from Benin
own improved method                  attended her first trade show, and       The Trade Hub‟s Access to
of processing for the                shea stakeholders in Mali estab-         Finance program has opened
                                     lished an association.
butter. We’ve seen                                                            banks‟ doors to the shea industry.
things getting better                                                         And the Trade Hub is developing
                                     Kpelly‟s company employs women
                                                                              branding to bring the industry
and a lot of repeat                  who make shea butter much as it
                                                                              together and increase consumer
customers,” Senyo                    has been made for generations.
                                                                              demand in end markets.
                                     Elsewhere, several high-tech
Kpelly, Sekaf Ghana
                                     processing facilities are producing
                                     tons of shea butter for the
Just a year after Sekaf Ghana        international specialty fats
inaugurated its first shea butter    industry. 3Fs, an international
village near Tamale in northern      specialty fats manufacturer, which        SOURCE: West Africa Trade Hub
Ghana, creating 40 jobs for          opened its facility in 2009 in  
                                     Ghana, now employs several                /default/files/resourcefiles/jun10/shea-
women, the facility now employs
                                     hundred people.

2                                                                                                    USAID, FEBRUARY 2011

 VILLAGES                                      To help farmers move away from          galvanized the community toward
                                               subsistence livelihoods and toward      action.
 COMMERCIALIZE                                 more profitable commercial
                                                                                       One of her first converts was a
 FOR MARKET GAIN                               production, USAID's Competitive-
                                                                                       former student, Mugambi K.
                                               ness and Trade Expansion
                                                                                       Mutituuri, who saw the wisdom of
 EAST AFRICAN SMALLHOLDER                      (COMPETE) program is
                                                                                       Jasper's community plan and
 FARMERS DOUBLE GAIN BY                        promoting the use of the
                                                                                       immediately deposited seven 90-
 SELLING AS A VILLAGE                          Commercial Village Store.
                                                                                       kilogram bags of grain into the
                                               Commercial Village Stores are           village store. To Mutituuri, the
                                               community bulking centers that          logic of a commercial village store
                                               depend on smallholder farmers           was obvious: “When I sold to
                                               agreeing to pool their resources        middlemen, I would get maybe
                                               together. This creates larger           700 Kenyan Shillings per bag.
                                               stores of high-quality agricultural     Selling as a community, I can get
                                               products that are directly              twice that.”
                                               marketed to buyers. The concept
                                                                                       Mwegiki now has a large village
 Community leader Juliana Kaburia              improves on the traditional
                                                                                       store in the center of town. It is a
 Jasper poses in front of the sign for         practice of individual farmers
 Mwegiki‟s Kiethangene Commercial                                                      hub of activity where grain is
                                               selling small quantities of goods to
 Producers‟ Group                                                                      dried, weighed, and properly
 Photo: USAID COMPETE                          middlemen who offer significantly
                                                                                       stored. Community members
                                               lower prices.
                                                                                       carry „Grain Savings Passbooks‟ to
 The town of Mwegiki is a verdant              Each village store consists of up to    show how much they have
 farming village on the eastern                500 households. USAID                   contributed to the store and their
 slopes of Mt. Kenya. It is in the             COMPETE is supporting 56 village        projected earnings. As a
 heart of the Kenyan breadbasket,              stores across Kenya, Uganda,            commercial entity, the town of
 known for its fertile land and                Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia            Mwegiki is negotiating with a
 temperate climate—perfect                     (representing around 130,000            buyer from one of Kenya's largest
 conditions for growing agricultural           individuals), with plans to roll out    suppliers.
 products. Yet smallholder farmers             to Malawi and Ethiopia. Of the
 in this area are not thriving, and            participating village stores, 44 have
 most sell their limited surpluses             demonstrated success by bulking
 well below market value. As                   as a community. The remaining 12        In Jasper’s words,
 individual farming households, they           have embraced the concept and           USAID COMPETE and
 lack the resources, storage, and              are awaiting the Tanzanian harvest      the commercial village
 quantity of product necessary to              season.                                 store projects are
 be competitive players in the
                                               For commercial village stores to        “changing the mindset
 regional agricultural market.
                                               succeed, the town has to invest in      of a community for an
                                               the idea. For this, Juliana Kaburia     improved standard of
                                               Jasper, a retired schoolteacher         life.”
                                               turned full-time community leader,
                                               was indispensible. Together with
SOURCE: East Africa Regional Mission           USAID and Farm Concern        International, Jasper introduced
                                               the goal of the village stores and

 USAID, FEBRUARY 2011                                                                                                         3

                                            At workshops and meetings across West Africa, Borderless is raising awareness
A trucking company in Togo                  and building on multiple efforts to remove trade barriers.
                                            Photo: Ryan Yingling/USAID West Africa Trade Hub
wants to put the logo on
billboards. Another in Ghana
wants its trucks to display the            Borderless presents the Economic          “Borderless comes at the right
message as the vehicles ply                Community of West African                 time to fill a gap in communi-
primary trade corridors. And               States (ECOWAS) vision of free            cation,” said Dr. Justin Koffi,
government and bilateral donors            trade. “This is really what we            Abidjan-Lagos Transport Corridor
have joined the partnership to             mean by regional integration,” said       (ALCO) director. “This joint
push for the removal of trade              Dr. M.O. Afolabi, ECOWAS                  action is a strong signal for battle
barriers represented by                    Director of Community                     against the impediments of free
Borderless—a campaign the Trade            Computing Centers. “And this is           movement in order to preserve
Hub launched with a broad                  the right time for it. Partners are       the economic prosperity of our
coalition of stakeholders in March         working with ECOWAS to make               sub region.”
2010.                                      this happen.”
                                                                                     The Trade Hub-facilitated
Developed pro bono by Publicis             The campaign debuted by                   Borderless launches across West
Ghana, Borderless is compelling            introducing the first-ever regional       Africa, with stakeholders in Benin,
and highly visible. It serves as a         picture of road harassment in             Burkina Faso, Cote d‟Ivoire,
platform for efforts aimed at              West Africa—data on check-                Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and
removing trade barriers across the         points, delays, and bribery jointly       Togo. The message is spreading
region.                                    published by the World Bank-              far and wide, building commit-
                                           funded Abidjan-Lagos Corridor             ment, and inspiring action to
“It‟s time for everyone to push            Organization, USAID‟s Agri-               remove trade barriers.
hard for regional rules to go into         business and Trade Promotion
effect,” said Ghassan Husseini of          Project and the Trade Hub. A new
Vehrad Transport & Hauling,                Web site presents information on
                                                                                     “This is really what we
which operates across West                 regional integration efforts, too:        mean by regional
Africa. “We need it.”                          integration. And this is
                                                                                     the right time for it,”
SOURCE: West Africa Regional Mission
                                                                                     claims Dr. M.O. Afolabi,                                             ECOWAS, Director of
transport-success-story.pdf                                                          Community Computing.

4                                                                                                        USAID, FEBRUARY 2011

 AFRICAN                                     East and Central African craft         Today, Flotea is supplying her
                                             markets burst with color,              „Marvelous Flotea‟ products to the
 ENTREPRENEUR                                materials, design, and function. Yet   high-profile New York designer
 TAKES ON U.S.                               lacking links to trade systems,        Rachel Roy and U.S. department
                                             many products never leave the          store, Macy‟s. Flotea‟s Kuba cloth
 MARKET                                      shelves. Flotea Massawe‟s cloth        clutch sporting fabric woven in the
                                             designs are an exception—these         Democratic Republic of the
 FLOTEA MASSAWE FINDS                        handicrafts are thriving in the U.S.   Congo is now exported
 INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS                       market, allowing her business to       throughout the United States.
                                             In 2002, Flotea possessed talent       “The clutch has created
                                             and a determination to succeed,        a chain of women in
                                             but lacked links to structured         three different
                                             markets. She was beholden to
                                                                                    countries linked
                                             customers who happened upon
                                             her cloth designs on the streets of
                                                                                    together to help
                                             Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.               alleviate poverty by
                                                                                    providing employment
                                             USAID‟s East and Central Africa
                                                                                    opportunities for
                                             Trade Hub discovered Flotea in
Flotea Massawe displays one of her
                                             2005 and provided her fledgling
                                                                                    African women,” says
clutch bags (above). Marvelous Flotea
products are manufactured in her             company with technical assistance      Flotea.
enlarged factory (below).                    in design and marketing. After
Photos: USAID/East Africa                                                           She has gone from making 200
                                             refining her product, the Trade
                                             Hub sponsored Flotea to                pieces a month with an annual
                                             participate in four trade shows        income of $120 to producing
                                             across the United States, most         2,000 to 3,000 pieces a month
                                             recently at the 2010 New York          with an annual income of
                                             International Gift Fair.               $100,000. Nearly 50 percent of
                                                                                    her sales come from exports to
                                             While attending these events,          the United States, India, and Japan.
                                             Flotea spoke at workshops,
                                             networked with U.S. buyers, and
                                             developed a company Web site:
 Flotea credits the Trade           To fill
 Hub for giving her                          her growing orders, Flotea needed
 access to a global                          to expand. Through a U.S. African
 market, saying: “You                        Development Foundation grant,
                                             she enlarged her factory and now
 are the ones who held
                                             employs nearly 200 women to
 my hand in entering the                     create her popular pillows, bags,
 U.S. market. Thanks                         runners, and tablemats.                  SOURCE: East Africa Regional Mission
 again for trusting my                                                      
 dreams.”                                                                             aspx, and

 USAID, FEBRUARY 2011                                                                                                                5

HANGER                                Follow-up visits with the companies        cost—and especially the reduction
                                      that Braiform representatives met          in lead time—has also allowed
PRODUCER OPENS                        at the B2B event led to the                companies to fulfill orders more
AFRICAN                               finalization of a feasibility study        quickly and more reliably, which is
                                      and the initial investment, which          a necessary requirement for
FACTORIES TO                          has amounted to around                     American buyers. Without the
MEET DEMAND                           $400,000. Approximately 7 million          opportunity to meet and interact
                                      hangers are produced each month            with regional industry members at
BRAIFORM INVESTED                     by Braiform‟s 400 employees from           the B2B event, Braiform would
$400,000 IN OPENING                   factories in Kenya, Lesotho,               not have realized that such a
FACTORIES IN KENYA,                   Mauritius, and South Africa.               valuable opportunity existed.

Compared to sourcing hangers
from Asian producers, African
apparel manufacturers now             Each year, Braiform supplies close to three billion
receive hangers four times            garment hangers to retailers and apparel manufacturers
faster—and without the added          globally. Photos: Braiform
transport costs of sea shipment.

Sub-Saharan African apparel           Hangers are sold to garment
                                      manufacturers in these countries,
                                                                                 Participation in the
manufacturers have traditionally
sourced their garment hangers         as well as Swaziland. In addition,         South African Trade
from the Far East, although both      Braiform is an approved supplier           Hub’s annual Textiles &
the lead time and massive cargo       to U.S. retailers K-Mart, Kohl's,          Apparel B2B event
space needed to ship to Africa are    Sears, Target, and Wal-Mart. As            proved to Braiform that
excessive.                            an approved supplier, the                  demand for locally
                                      company has been nominated by
The international company                                                        produced garment
                                      the retailer to be a preferred or
Braiform had been considering the
                                      exclusive supplier of hangers to all
                                                                                 hangers was significant.
possibility of investing in Africa.
                                      garment manufacturers in the
Through attendance at the annual
                                      United States. These relationships
Textiles & Apparel B2B Event,
                                      promote higher quality standards,
sponsored by the Southern Africa
                                      consistent product, and increased
Trade Hub, Braiform held
meetings with several African
garment manufacturers. These          Braiform's investments benefited
pre-matched meetings convinced        all the companies involved by
them that the volumes demanded        cutting transport costs by about
warranted the establishment of a      $4,000 per 40-foot container of
hanger manufacturing facility in      200,000 hangers, reducing lead
several African countries.            times from approximately 30 days
                                                                                 SOURCE: Southern Africa Regional Mission,
                                      to around one week, and creating           and also USAID Frontlines, November 2010
                                      jobs locally. This reduction in

6                                                                                                    USAID, FEBRUARY 2011

To find comprehensive
information on East Africa‟s
transportation and trade
corridors, one would have to
search through multiple agency
Web sites for seven countries, at
least three multilateral donors,                 Screen shot of Regional Transit Web site:

many more bilateral donors, and
three more regional economic                  associated with the development               stores of food are kept
                                              of East Africa‟s Northern and                 throughout the region and
entities dealing with transit in the
                                              Central Transit Corridors. These              points of interest for
                                              corridors serve communities as                transportation and trade issues
Assuming relevant documents are               far east as Kisangani in the                  along the corridor, including
available online, the documents               Democratic Republic of the                    up-to-date pictures and
would need to be read, and the                Congo, provide goods and                      archived reports on those
reader might still not have a solid           services to seven countries in the            points
picture of what the issues are or             region, and incorporate road,
how difficult they can be to                                                              A media page incorporating
                                              railway, ports, and maritime traffic.
                                                                                           germane videos, slideshows,
overcome. As a government
                                              With the launch of the Web site,             and blog entries. As they
worker trying to address these
issues in your country, that would            governments, regional economic               become available, the results
                                              communities, donors, researchers,            from four pending major
be a daunting task that requires
                                              and anyone with an interest in               reports on corridor efficiency
days of your time. Now, the
USAID East Africa Regional                    transport issues in the region can           will be added to the site.
                                              come to one central location to
Mission has done the heavy lifting.
                                              learn more.
INITIATIVE                                    The Web site consists of three             This Web site marks a major
                                              major sections:                            achievement for the transporta-
On August 15, 2010, USAID in
                                                                                         tion development issues in the
partnership with the Department                A library with nearly three
for International Development                                                            region and will continue to grow
                                                hundred tagged and searchable
                                                                                         and incorporate new material.
(DFID) launched a new Web site                  documents that also serves as a as a               public „drop-box‟ for any                User comments are fielded by the
repository for all reports,                     relevant documents added by              appropriate experts, and new
documents, data, and media                      the public                               ideas will be included in regular
SOURCE: East Africa Regional Mission                                                     updates to this regional transit
                                               Two GIS maps marking points                                              portal.
.aspx                                           where public and private sector

USAID, FEBRUARY 2011                                                                                                              7


When public and private sector
stakeholders came together to
form Mali‟s National Federation of
Shea Professionals, they elected
                                         Madame Lah‟s initiative of Mali‟s National Federation of Shea Exporters brings
Kadijatou Lah as president. Lah is       the industry together, helping to ensure quality products, market access, and
a dynamic force in Mali‟s shea           higher value to the women who pick and process shea nuts.
industry, working with thousands         Photo: Robert Booth, West Africa Trade Hub
of women pickers and processors,
heading up two important shea          Alliances are a strategic thrust of         Global Shea 2010—the third
groups, and running her own            the Trade Hub‟s work in                     annual international shea industry
export company. The sector             nontraditional export sectors.              conference in Bamako in March,
sustains the livelihoods of 80         When companies come together,               preceded by Mali Shea Day.
percent of rural Malian women—         they can advocate to government
more than five million people,                                                     The events connected stake-
                                       on problems that affect them all
according to the government.                                                       holders in Mali to international
                                       but that are too big for any one to
                                                                                   buyers, experts, and service
“She has played a very big role        resolve individually.
because she knows the entire           The federation worked closely
sector,” said Binta Konte of Projet    with the Trade Hub and Mali‟s
Karité, a UNDP-funded shea             Ministry of Women to host
                                                                                   “Our goals are to
project. “Thanks to her, the                                                       improve quality, attract
federation came together.”             WHY IS SHEA IMPORTANT TO WEST               market, and increase
This new federation is putting the     AFRICA?                                     value to the women
country‟s shea industry on the         The livelihood of millions of West          collecting shea nuts and
right track, with a focus on           African women is directly tied to shea      making shea butter,”
improved quality to positively         nuts that come from trees, which grow       Lah explained. “Our
impact the millions of women           in a zone south of the Sahel. The nuts
                                       have been used for generations to
                                                                                   vision is to be the best
                                       make shea butter and shea oil, which        supplier of quality shea
“It includes all of the actors, from   have a multitude of uses from lotions       nuts and butter to the
people working with the tree to        to soap to cooking oil. The export of       world. And I think we’ll
export,” Lah said. “It was created     shea nuts and shea butter has grown
to find solutions to problems in       substantially in the last five years.
the sector. It‟s an alliance.”         Consumer demand for the natural
                                       cosmetics made with shea butter             SOURCE: West Africa Regional Mission
                                       continues to grow as does demand in
                                       the specialty fats industry.                ault/files/resourcefiles/jun10/mali-

8                                                                                                       USAID, FEBRUARY 2011

ETHIOPIA BUSINESS                      Sammy Handmade in Ethiopia, an        supported participation in the
                                       Ethiopian business that specializes   trade shows in the United States,
BREAKS INTO THE                        in Ethiopian clothing and             however, taught them one of the
U.S. MARKET                            homemade goods, has been              most important lessons: small
                                       receiving USAID support since         investments can lead to significant
USAID’S AGOA PLUS                      2007. The company aims to             gains.
PROJECT HELPS EXPORTING                empower and employ marginalized
                                                                             Production is currently under way
OF HAND-WOVEN TEXTILES                 groups through the production
                                                                             to fill orders that will be delivered
AND LEATHER GOODS                      and export of hand-woven textiles
                                                                             to stores in the United States at
                                       and finished leather goods. Sammy
                                                                             the beginning of January for the
                                       Handmade in Ethiopia‟s unique
                                                                             2011 Spring Collection sales.
                                       products bridge the traditional and
                                       modern worlds with a unique
                                       approach to Ethiopian designs.        Sammy Handmade in
                                       In the last four years, the company   Ethiopia has learned
                                       has grown from six to 43              many lessons as it has
                                       permanent staff. During FY 2010,      grown, including know-
                                       there were 236 weavers,               ledge about the persis-
Benefiting from the AGOA Plus          embroiderers, and leather             tence required in
Project, Sammy Handmade in Ethiopia    producers working in association
provides income-generating                                                   developing and
                                       with Sammy Handmade in Ethiopia.
opportunities for women.
                                       Many products are made in
                                                                             maintaining business
Photo: Sammy Handmade in Ethiopia
                                       collaboration with cooperatives       relationships and the
                                       that support women affected by        importance of cost
Ethiopia‟s unique culture and
                                       AIDS. Another group of 112            sharing.
traditions are exhibited through
                                       women skilled in embroidery,
the country‟s handicrafts
                                       weaving and sewing in a small
population, and one of the
                                       town outside of the capital also
country‟s largest exports is hides
                                       work with the company.
and skins. The handmade goods
found in Ethiopia are very different   In 2007, Sammy Handmade-in-
from those found in other African      Ethiopia received support from
countries, as the country              USAID‟s AGOA Plus project to
specializes in silver, leather, and    attend the Designers and Agents
silk products and textiles. In the     Show in New York, where it had
past, however, Ethiopian               the opportunity to meet potential
handicrafts have had limited           buyers for the first time. USAID
exposure in international markets.     support allowed the company a
                                       second chance to participate in
USAID‟s AGOA (African Growth
                                       the New York show in 2010.
and Opportunity Act) Plus project
                                       Sammy Handmade in Ethiopia
has helped Ethiopian artisans and
                                       received $100,300 in orders from
companies merge into new
                                       27 boutiques, specialty shops, and
markets by providing duty-free                                                  SOURCE: Reported by USAID Ethiopia
                                       department stores for leather bags       Mission, December 2010
and quota-free privileges for
                                       and hand-woven scarves in the
Ethiopian products.
                                       United States. Its USAID-

USAID, FEBRUARY 2011                                                                                                 9

 NEW TRADING                               the Agricultural Commodity           access to markets. [I‟ve had]
                                           Exchange for Africa Trust (ACE)      increased revenue through ACE
 PLATFORM HELPS                            of Malawi to create a Bid Volume     contracts and the ability to build
 SMALLHOLDER                               Only (BVO) trading platform.         long links or relationships with
                                           This BVO platform is based on a      suppliers.”
 FARMERS                                   World Food Programme Purchase
                                                                                While initially promoted by WFP,
                                           for Progress (WFP P4P) model
 SMALLHOLDER FARMERS                       used in Zambia.
                                                                                and now USAID‟s COMPETE
 GAIN ACCESS TO MARKETS                                                         project, the BVO platform is being
 THROUGH BID VOLUME ONLY                   A BVO transaction resembles a        embraced by the public and
 PLATFORM                                  reverse auction. The buyer (e.g.,    private sectors. Sellers are grateful
                                           WFP P4P) states the volume and       for market access, and buyers
                                           location of a desired product.       welcome purchasing a good
                                           ACE hosts a trading session that     product with the security and
                                           allows any supplier to bid on        transparency that the exchange
                                           prices per stated volume and         provides. Results of BVO so far
                                           location. Bidding can be done in     indicate that prices are competi-
                                           person or through mobile phone       tive as compared to prices
                                           SMS or the Internet. Then, WFP       achieved through closed tenders,
                                           P4P compares prices and selects      and it attracts a range of suppliers.
ACE demonstrates the BVO platform to       the most competitive offer(s). The   WFP P4P is using the BVO
Malawi smallholder farmers. Photo: World   process is transparent and open.     platform to procure food for
Food Programme (Charlie Bamwell)                                                humanitarian relief within Malawi
                                           ACE launched its BVO trade
                                                                                and neighboring countries.
                                           platform in May 2010. Within the
 “ACE has helped me to                     first two months of operation, the   The BVO platform is accessible
 compete with larger                       ACE BVO hosted trades totaling       and can be rolled out through any
 traders and has                           nearly $1.9 million. The sessions    agricultural exchange. For
 increased my access to                    included eight contracts for WFP     sustainability, the BVO needs a
 markets,” says                            P4P and a contract for 2,000         policy environment that supports
                                           metric tons of soya with the South   open markets and infrastructure
 Lawrence Chikhasu.
                                           African SENWES Group, worth          improvements like rural ware-
                                           $683,000. Winners included the       houses. The involvement of
 Smallholder farmers need access
                                           Grains and Legumes Association       farmer groups like those
 to regional agricultural markets if
                                           (GALA) representing 95,000           represented by Mr. Chikhasu and
 we are to achieve reduced
                                           farmers, and GALA won a              GALA has shown that transparent
 poverty and increased food
                                           contract to provide 50 metric        trading platforms can attract a
 security in East Africa. Unfortu-
                                           tons of maize to WFP.                diversity of participants from
 nately, these markets favor
                                                                                smallholder farmers to
 established farmers and traders           Mr. Lawrence Chikhasu
                                                                                commercial operators. The BVO
 who are able to fulfill large orders.     represents a group of 400 farmers
                                                                                is a stepping stone to empowering
 As they are unable to access              in Mchinji, 60 kilometers from
                                                                                smallholder farmers to enter
 regional markets directly, small-         ACE in Lilongwe, Malawi.
                                                                                structured trade systems.
 holder farmers often resort to            Mr. Chikhasu speaks highly of ACE
 selling their product at reduced          and the BVO project, “ACE has
                                                                                SOURCE: East Africa Regional Mission
 prices to middlemen. To solve this        helped me to compete with larger
 problem, USAID partnered with             traders and has increased my         aspx

 10                                                                                                  USAID, FEBRUARY 2011


The video is shaky and the audio
muffled, but the pictures still tell a
story worth a thousand angry
words: An unscrupulous agent of
Ghana‟s customs service openly              A police officer pockets a bribe from a driver at one of the numerous
celebrates as he extorts money              checkpoints along West African routes.
                                            Photo: Lacina Pakoun, West Africa Trade Hub
from travelers crossing the
Ghana-Togo border at Aflao, near          “No matter what you do, they will          Awareness of the problem is
Lomé, the capital of Togo.                not let you pass unless you pay            spurring transport industry
The report aired on one of                them money,” one says to the               stakeholders, government officials,
Ghana‟s largest TV networks,              reporter. “We can‟t do business.”          exporters and importers, and the
reaching millions. It was inspired                                                   general public to action. Ghana‟s
                                          “People are talking about the
by Trade Hub-supported                                                               National Security has opened
                                          issue, and many people have called
awareness-raising activities                                                         investigations into the allegations
                                          us to say they have been victims,”
implemented by three civil society                                                   against customs and police
                                          said Dzifa Gakpleazi of the Legal
organizations in the country. Their                                                  officers.
                                          Resources Center, one of the
efforts led to 16 newspaper               Trade Hub‟s civil society grantees.
articles, more than two hours of          “They know that now they can               Reducing and eliminat-
reporting on radio stations, and 30       report the issue and that                  ing road blocks where
minutes of national TV news               somebody is serious about it. And          customs, police, and
coverage.                                 they appreciate it.”
                                                                                     gendarmes harass
Given anonymity because they              The media attention was                    drivers for bribes would
fear reprisals by officials, petty        equivalent to purchasing $80,000           reduce the costs of
traders were scathing in their            worth of advertising. More                 doing business in the
remarks deploring the harassment          importantly, half of Ghana‟s 25
that they experience daily.
                                                                                     region. Trade Hub-
                                          million citizens were exposed to
                                          the information. In three other
                                                                                     supported civil society
                                          countries—Burkina Faso, Mali, and          organizations are
SOURCE: West Africa Regional              Togo—civil society organizations           pushing authorities to
Mission                                   undertook activities that exposed          act.
default/files/resourcefiles/jun10/        millions to the anti-road
transport-success-story.pdf               harassment messages, too.

USAID, FEBRUARY 2011                                                                                                       11

  COTTON TEXTILES                      It is not easy for Africa‟s artisans   “Before the training, my product
                                       to break ahead of the pack. Small      line was limited to the repertoire
  IN THE TRADITION                     quantities, irregular quality          of the royal court because my
  OF KINGS                             control. and stagnant designs stop     ancestors wove the shrouds and
                                       them from reaching upscale             traditional clothes for the King. I
  AN ARTISAN FROM BENIN                markets. But when passion, talent,     repeated the patterns on table-
  INTRODUCES TRADITIONAL               and enterprise come together, as       cloths and other decorative items
  WEAVING TO THE WEST                  they have for Constant Adonon,         for the home,” said Adonon. “But
                                       the creativity of African design       the life of a well-woven cloth is 20
                                       makes a universal splash.              years! To attract clients, we need
                                                                              exciting new products. My
                                       Constant Adonon grew up
                                                                              business is built on creating
                                       learning his father‟s trade—
                                                                              demand through innovation and
                                       weaving—an art that has been
                                                                              satisfying customers who are
                                       passed down from the court of
                                                                              more and more demanding every
                                       the Dahomey King Agonglo in the
                                                                              day.” Sundance Catalog was
                                       late 1700s in Benin. Committed to
                                                                              impressed by Adonon‟s creations,
                                       this art, Adonon created the
                                                                              which were displayed at the 2008
                                       Association for the Enhancement
                                                                              and 2009 New York International
Constant Adonon comes from a long      and Promotion of Traditional
family tradition of weaving for the                                           Gift Fairs.
                                       Weaving of Abomey (AVPTTA) to
court of the king. Photo: USAID
                                       give new meaning to this noble         Sundance introduced this colorful
                                       work.                                  line of hand-woven pillows in its
                                                                              2009 summer catalog and Web
                                       As part of its support to the
                                                                              site. That went so well that they
                                       cotton sector, the U.S. Govern-
                                                                              ordered 100 more cushion and
                                       ment, through USAID‟s West
                                                                              pillow covers with fresh designs.
                                       Africa Cotton Improvement
                                                                              One of his Abomey-inspired
                                       Program (WACIP) and the U.S.-
                                                                              cushions adorns a classic
                                       based nongovernmental
                                                                              Adirondack chair on the back
                                       organization, Aid to Artisans,
                                                                              cover of its spring 2010 catalog.
                                       supports efforts to add value in
                                       locally produced cotton. In 2007,      Constant is ecstatic. He has
                                       such support enabled export-           earned more than $57,000 dollars
                                       ready artisans in West Africa to       and expanded his market to
                                       create innovative products,            France, Burkina, Ghana, and Mali
Adonon‟s pillows featured on the
                                       drawing on traditional forms and       as well as the United States. In the
back of the Spring 2010 Sundance
Catalog. Photo: Sundance               motifs to meet the preferences         last three years, Aid to Artisans
                                       and requirements of international      has trained an average of 1,100
                                       markets. Participating in the three-   C-4 artisans a year enabling them
                                       year program, Adonon received          to create quality products through
                                       training in business management        cleaner and healthier production
SOURCE: West Africa Regional Mission   and marketing, including the           processes, and achieve $690,000
report, December 2010, and             organization of craft exhibitions      sales at regional and international   and product design and                 trade fairs.
Cotton_Textiles_in_the_Tradition_of_   development.

  12                                                                                             USAID, FEBRUARY 2011

   INCOMES GROW                          In southeastern Senegal, baobab      income-generating opportunities
                                         seeds were once believed to be a     for many rural women.
   THANKS TO                             useless byproduct of a locally
                                                                              “The processing of the baobab
   BAOBAB SEEDS                          grown fruit. The fruit was eaten
                                                                              fruit into powder provides us with
                                         and the seeds merely tossed aside.
                                                                              a lot of income. It is really
   USING FRUIT GRAINS FOR                But now, in the village of           interesting because we could not
   COSMETICS, SENEGALESE                 Dindéfélo, women are reaping         have earned so much with other
   FARMERS FIND NEW WAYS                 gains from baobab fruit processing   activities,” says Mrs. Fatoumata
                                         for the first time, thanks to a      Diallo, a member of Dhoudha
                                         USAID program. A facilitator for     Bourakha Association. “What's
                                         the Agency first put women in        more,” she adds, “this activity is
                                         contact with a cosmetics firm that   not exhausting like other work in
                                         uses the seeds in its products.      the fields.”
                                         USAID is now expanding its
                                                                              USAID is now assisting to expand
                                         efforts to assist other Senegalese
                                                                              this new processing activity
                                         villages to find markets for this
                                                                              throughout the Kédougou region
                                         growing commodity, empowering
                                                                              of Senegal, thereby raising
                                         local women in the process.
                                                                              incomes and creating new
                                         “The USAID program facilitator       opportunities for small-scale
With the help of USAID, baobab seed
                                         came to inform us that they had a    farmers to diversify their activities
powder has become an important source    partner who was ready to buy the     and connect to new markets.
of income generation for small-scale     seeds, so we should not throw
farmers.                                                                      “I am seriously calling on women
                                         them away,” says Mrs. Aicha
Photo: Madior Fall, USAID                                                     to take on this activity,” Mrs.
                                         Bousso, Secretary General of
                                                                              Diallo said. As she acknowledged,
                                         Bourakha Federation from the
                                                                              in an industry where women are
                                         nearby village of Salemata. “We
                                                                              the target consumers, it is
   “The processing of the                thank USAID very much. It is our
                                                                              gratifying to know that their
                                         first partner.”
   baobab fruit into                                                          money helps support other
   powder provides us with               This partnership began in 2009       women who are the suppliers.
   a lot of income. It is                with Bio Essence, a cosmetics
   really interesting                    manufacturing firm. The baobab
                                         seed powder is a key ingredient in
   because we could not
                                         cosmetics, such as fragrant body
   have earned so much                   oils. Once the producers and
   with other activities,”               buyers for this commodity were
   claims Fatoumata                      connected, the Senegalese farmers
   Diallo, Member of                     were able to begin selling a
   Dhoudha Bourakha                      previously unmarketable by-
   Association.                          product. Since then, the selling
                                         price for their baobab seed
                                         powder has almost doubled,
                                                                              SOURCE: Senegal Mission
                                         further improving the local
                                         economy and providing new            _sn_baobab.html

   USAID, FEBRUARY 2011                                                                                                 13

  THANKS TO AGOA                     When an American buyer and              that is helping Biack begin to
                                     customs officials told Cawer—an         realize his goal of expanding the
  TRADE BENEFITS,                    apparel maker in Cameroon—that          company—creating hundreds of
  CAMEROONIAN                        its T-shirts did not qualify for duty   new jobs for young women.
                                     exemption under the African
  APPAREL FIRM                       Growth and Opportunity Act
                                                                             “We will soon be able
  GROWS                              (AGOA), the company‟s manager
                                     was distressed.                         to ramp up to a
  AGOA TRADE BENEFITS GIVE                                                   container per week,”
                                     “Competition is fierce in the U.S.
  AFRICAN EXPORTERS AN                                                       he said. “We’ll be very
                                     market,” said the company‟s
  IMPORTANT COMPETITIVE                                                      active, with two or
                                     manager, Dalle Biack, recalling the
  ADVANTAGE. THE TRADE                                                       three shifts. And that
                                     situation recently. “The elimination
  HUB HELPS THEM REALIZE                                                     would mean adding
                                     of tariffs under AGOA contributes
                                     to a reduction in price compared        more than 200
                                     to products coming from                 employees. We
                                     elsewhere. It‟s an important            haven’t done this kind
                                                                             of exporting here and
                                     AGOA eliminates tariffs on more         it’s only thanks to
                                     than 6,400 products from eligible       AGOA.”
                                     African countries, but buyers,
                                     sellers, and government agencies
                                     need to know about it—and how
                                     to use it so that it has an impact.
                                     The Trade Hub helped each party
AGOA‟s trade preferences give West
African companies an important       understand that the T-shirts were
advantage, allowing them to expand   indeed eligible for AGOA duty-
production and create jobs.          free treatment.
Photo: Abou Fall, Trade Hub
                                     Trade Hub Services Manager
                                     Abou Fall worked with the parties
                                     to sort out the problem.
  “With targeted                     “AGOA‟s benefits are obviously
  technical assistance, the          very meaningful, but actually taking
  Trade Hub helps                    advantage of them is sometimes
  businesses and                     difficult for companies, customs,
  government use AGOA                and buyers,” Fall explained.
  to compete successfully.           “Providing practical information
                                     on AGOA helps ensure that
                                     everyone can benefit from the
                                     trade preferences it offers.”

                                     Cawer sent one container of T-            SOURCE: West Africa Trade Hub
                                     shirts in January 2010 and a    
                                     second container in March. The            default/files/resourcefiles/jun10/agoa
                                     orders are generating the revenue

  14                                                                                              USAID, FEBRUARY 2011

 PROTECTING                                 downstream. BAP worked with              of BOD early in the process to
                                            these same stations to construct         minimize contact between the
 WATER RESOURCES                            latrine blocks to curb unsanitary        wash water and the pulp.
 TO IMPROVE                                 conditions around coffee washing         Afterwards, the pulp is composted
                                            stations.                                and applied to horticulture crops
 COFFEE RETURNS                                                                      and coffee plantations, increasing
                                            Burundian coffee washing stations
                                            are important economic hubs for
                                            the growing regions they service.        Prior to the introduction of these
                                            A single station can serve an area       effluent control systems, environ-
                                            of 9 to 100 square kilometers and        mental impacts were felt as much
                                            3,000 to 5,000 growers. As many          as 5 kilometers downstream
                                            as 1,000 to 2,000 farmers travel         causing fish kills, crop burns, and
                                            on foot to sell their coffee             foul odors—making these waters
                                            cherries at the washing stations         a hazard to people and livestock.
                                            approximately 10 times a year.           The stations are also gradually
                                            Since most coffee washing stations       introducing more water-efficient
Multi‐stage horizontal‐flow filter, where
the liquid influent passes through a        do not have latrines, washing            de‐pulping machines. These
settling tank before passing through two    stations become hot spots for            actions process coffee cherry in an
chambers of coarse gravel and into a        disease associated with poor             environmentally responsible
slow sand filter, augmented with lime to
                                            hygienic conditions.                     manner and put these stations and
neutralize the acids. Photo: USAID
                                                                                     the farmers on a path to an
                                            The typical station using a
                                                                                     improved quality of life by
 Coffee accounts for roughly 80             McKinnon pulping machine
                                                                                     improving their health as well as
 percent of Burundi‟s export                requires 16 to 20 liters of water
                                                                                     their incomes.
 earnings, and nearly 800,000 rural         per kilogram of cherry. A station
 families make their living from the        processing 1,000 metric tons of
 crop. Most of Burundi‟s coffee             cherry in a season will require as       Burundian coffee
 washing stations process cherry            much as 2,000 m3 of water.               washing stations are
 without the necessary environ-             Serious environmental harm is            important economic
 mental controls to receive                 caused by the pollution from
                                                                                     hubs for the growing
 specialty certifications like Utz,         coffee washing station effluents.
 Starbuck‟s CAFÉ, and Rainforest            Coffee washing wastewater can
                                                                                     regions they service. As
 Alliance. Implementing the                 produce huge amounts of pulp             many as 1,000 to 2,000
 environmental controls to attain           slurry with acidic pH levels, and        farmers travel on foot
 this level of certification is key to      very high levels of biochemical          to sell their coffee
 good environmental stewardship             oxygen demand (BOD)—to the               cherries at the washing
 and important to farmers because           tune of 3,000 to 10,000 mg/L.            stations approximately
 certification allows their coffee to
                                            To mitigate this pollution and help      10 times a year.
 access differentiated international
                                            ensure clean water, BAP used an
 niche markets and better prices.
                                            innovative three-step process to
 USAID‟s Burundi Agribusiness               screen, filter, and treat the effluent
 Program (BAP) is working with              prior to joining downstream
 nine pilot coffee washing stations         ground waters. Diverting and
 to treat their wastewater effluents        screening the majority of pulp            SOURCE: East Africa Regional Mission
 in order to ensure clean water             slurry removes the primary source

 USAID, FEBRUARY 2011                                                                                                                15


USAID‟s Southern Africa Trade
Hub first met Peter Mabeo at the
International Contemporary
Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York
in 2006. He was there representing
his company, Mabeo Furniture,            Mabeo Furniture workers unloading a shipment of panga panga wood as it arrives
                                         from the new supplier source in Mozambique. Photo: Southern Africa Trade Hub
which is based in Gaborone,
Botswana, and produces high-end
contemporary furniture with a          raw input materials from local            jobs will be boosted on that end
strategic focus on craftsmanship       sources. By eliminating third-party       of the supply chain as well.
and the use of sustainable raw         sourcing agents, Mabeo estimates
materials.                             that this new relationship will
                                       reduce his wood input costs by an
                                                                                 “At the end of the day,
Since then, the Trade Hub—which
                                       average of 50 percent.                    it is the quality of the
helps African entrepreneurs                                                      Mabeo design, high
improve their competitiveness,         Mabeo‟s unrelenting focus on
                                                                                 standard for inputs,
gain greater access to global          creating long-term value is one of
markets, create jobs, and generate     the key secrets to his current
                                                                                 and our brand that
economic development—has               success. So much so that this past        determines how well
sponsored him in numerous              summer he won the ICFF Editor‟s           we do in the market-
shows and provided various forms       Award for best furniture, which           place. We need more
of technical assistance in business    has come with the opportunity to          than a competitive
management and operations.             showcase his product with top             price to get us in the
                                       designers in the industry.
When Mabeo wanted to find a                                                      door,” said Peter
consistent supplier of certified       In keeping with his strategy of           Mabeo, owner of
wood from responsibly managed          obtaining raw materials from              Mabeo Furniture.
forests, the Trade Hub was able        sustainable sources, Mabeo
to link him directly with a supplier   envisions a mutually beneficial
of panga panga wood from               partnership with this supplier. By
                                                                                  SOURCE: Southern Africa regional
Mozambique. This connection has        cutting out the middleman, and             mission
not only helped his bottom line,       with Mozambique now performing   
but also fits in with his philosophy   more value-added functions such
of obtaining the highest-quality       as processing and certification,

16                                                                                                   USAID, FEBRUARY 2011

 COMMUNITY                                    António João Cecílio Mtambo is a        One of the biggest problems facing
                                              fisherman from the community of         Lake Niassa communities had
 FISHERIES NET                                Chuanga in Lake Niassa who used         been the use of donated mosquito
 BIGGER CATCHES                               to depend on ineffective fine-          nets, intended to protect against
                                              meshed fishing nets that provided       malaria but used for fishing
 MODIFICATIONS TO FISHING                     little sustenance for his family.       instead. Mosquito net fishing was
 TECHNIQUES IMPROVE                           Since 2006, USAID and the World         harmful because it removed all
 LIVELIHOOD OF LOCALS                         Wildlife Fund have been working         sizes of fish, fry, and even eggs
                                              to establish the Lake Niassa            from the lake. The nets were
                                              Reserve and have helped create          destroying the algae—a vital part
                                              11 community fishing councils.          of the lake‟s food chain—and
                                              Mtambo belongs to a group of            further damaging fish stocks.
                                              patrol officers who enforce the
                                                                                      Mtambo now provides enough for
                                              recommended fishing net sizes and
                                                                                      his family, and he brings in enough
                                              prevent the lake‟s resources from
                                                                                      fish to sell in the nearby Lichinga
                                              being depleted. With the councils
                                              in place, these communities have
                                              decided to ban all mosquito net
                                              fishing to preserve the fish in Lake     “I used to struggle to
                                              Niassa.                                 provide for my family.
                                              As a result, communities around         The situation here was
   As fishermen are no longer                 the lake are beginning to prosper,      so bad that one could
   authorized to use fine-meshed nets,
   they now regularly reel in fish that are   and the size and quality of catch       stand for hours in the
   up to 12 inches long.
   Photo: Lécio Munguambe, WWF
                                              have increased considerably. With       lake and find nothing,”
                                              fine-meshed nets, fishermen used
                                                                                      said Mtambo.
                                              to catch fish with an average size
                                              of three to five inches. Now, they
                                              regularly reel in fish that are up to
                                              12 inches long.
 “It’s like magic has
                                              Lake Niassa is the world‟s ninth
 happened. We catch                           largest lake and is widely
 fish big enough for                          recognized as the most biologically
 ourselves and to sell in                     important lake in the world. It is
 big markets. This year, I                    home to more than 1,000 fish
 managed to buy three                         species—95 percent of them
 new nets with money                          endemic to the lake—including
                                              tilapia, lake salmon, and hundreds
 generated from the
                                              of species of cichlids. Yet, fishing
 fish.”                                       communities live well below the
                                              official poverty line and the lake‟s
                                              fisheries are under threat from
SOURCE: Mozambique mission       overfishing.

 USAID, FEBRUARY 2011                                                                                                       17

   USAID IMPROVES                                 In 2010, Chitsosa became the first        Better financial management
                                                  recipient of a cost-sharing grant         systems will put Chitsosa in prime
   MAIZE MARKET                                   from USAID‟s Market Linkages              position to take advantage of
   VALUE CHAIN IN                                 Initiative (MLI) to strengthen small      Malawi‟s upcoming market
                                                  producer market access through            information system platform.
   MALAWI                                         improved storage techniques and
                                                                                            Since the grant began, Mr. Chitsosa
                                                  the availability of timely market
   STRENGTHENING SMALL                            information. Funding from MLI
                                                                                            has bought 2,480 tons of grain
   PRODUCER MARKET ACCESS                         was supplemented by funding from
                                                                                            from 2,000 farmers linked to 30
   THROUGH IMPROVED                               Chitsosa to refurbish warehouses.
   THE AVAILABILITY OF TIMELY                     Renovations are under way to
   MARKET INFORMATION                             install windows and a high roof for
                                                                                            Mr. Chitsosa recently
                                                  stacking, as well as to seal walls to     told MLI and a
                                                  control moisture levels and deter         delegation from
                                                  pests. The improved facilities will       USAID, the World
                                                  allow stocks to remain in storage         Food Programme and
                                                  for longer periods while retaining        U.S. Department of
                                                  their quality. This will allow Chitsosa
                                                                                            Agriculture, “Since I
                                                  to sell at the optimum market
                                                  price at the best time, rather than
                                                                                            started using the
                                                  selling prematurely or losing a           receipt books, I have
                                                  portion of stocks through                 been able to clearly
                                                  deterioration.                            show exact volumes of
Warehouse being refurbished for increased
grain capacity.                                   MLI also assisted with the design
                                                                                            commodities that have
Photo: MLI
                                                  and implementation of commodity           passed through my
                                                  and financial tracking systems for        stores.”
   The Chitsosa Trading Company                   Chitsosa‟s purchases. Individual
   sells maize, groundnuts, and soya              village aggregation centers (VAC)
   to major traders in Malawi and                 are now equipped with a
   neighboring Tanzania, making it a              commodity management receipt
   vital link in the region‟s food                book to record purchases by
   security chain. Previously, the                individual farmers, tally volumes of
   company was plagued by poor                    each commodity, and record
   warehouse conditions leading to                qualitative information for each
   infestations and premature                     lot.
   deterioration of products in
   storage. Recordkeeping and                     Farmers are also provided with
   accounting systems were also                   this same information for their
   disorganized.                                  records. The company opened a
                                                  designated bank account and will
                                                  hire a full-time accountant.
   SOURCE: East Africa Regional Mission

   18                                                                                                         USAID, FEBRUARY 2011


Markets work best when timely
information about supply and
demand conditions is readily
available. Putting into place
systems to provide this kind of
information is one of the most
difficult building blocks for well-       Wholesalers exchange information at the Xai-Xai City market.
                                          Photo: USAID, Michael Weber
functioning food and agricultural
markets in Africa. This is partly
because there is no workable              With the information in hand, they       revenue than those without access
method for charging all recipients        can operate more effectively in a        to the information.
of the information for its use, and       free market, which creates
because public sector participation                                                Based on observations from the
                                          incentives for new private
is critical to designing and devel-                                                project, USAID and its partners
                                          investment and ensures that
oping a system for gathering and                                                   also developed a set of guidelines
                                          surpluses do not go to waste
disseminating reliable market                                                      to be used in future efforts to
                                          when there is demand elsewhere
information to all who need it.                                                    build effective, lasting, and sustain-
                                          in the economy.
                                                                                   able market information systems
                                                                                   throughout Africa. Once they are
INITIATIVE                                RESULTS                                  in place, these information
To study how such a system could          The project yielded important            services will bring enormous
be put in place, USAID launched a         insights into how to build a             benefits to ordinary Africans by
project in Mozambique to analyze          sustainable market information           making the region‟s food markets
food markets. The project                 system through partnerships              more efficient and competitive.
identified methods for providing          among government, nongovern-
timely, accurate, and low-cost            mental organizations, and private
strategic information, including
                                                                                   “Market information is
                                          businesses. It also showed that
prices and transport costs, to            through radio broadcasts, market
                                                                                   helpful but difficult to
farmers, traders, processors, and         information can be provided for as       put into place and
consumers.                                little as $0.07 per year per rural       sustain,” says Pedro
                                          household. In rural areas with           Arlindo, an agriculture
                                          strong radio signals where up to         market export.
SOURCE: Mozambique mission                66 percent of farms received price   information, those farms gener-
/cs_mz_marketinfo.html                    ated, on average, 11 percent more

USAID, FEBRUARY 2011                                                                                                        19


Raising awareness of road
harassment is the first step to
resolving the problem. People are
increasingly seeing the problem
                                         In Mali, civil society groups helped drivers and others voice their displeasure
for what it really is: A huge barrier    with the numerous checkpoints littering the nation‟s roads—roadblocks to
to West Africa‟s economic                economic development. Photo: Trade Hub
                                        In September, the Government of              —she is the president of the
Campaigns to raise awareness of         Mali eliminated a checkpoint along           Tomato Sellers Association of
road harassment—supported by            the road connecting its capital,             Togo—the campaigns spoke
USAID‟s West Africa Trade Hub           Bamako, to Ouagadougou, the                  directly of a problem that
in four West African countries—         capital of Burkina Faso. The                 effectively hurts their bottom line,
are helping to change attitudes on      campaigns, implemented by civil              as well as their ability to compete.
the topic. And that is leading to       society groups in Burkina Faso,
real, even if modest, reductions in     Ghana, Mali, and Togo, were cited
the number of checkpoints along         as a reason.
                                                                                     “We're selling a
primary trade corridors.                                                             perishable food product,”
                                        The groups held public debates,              she said during an hour-
                                        designed and put up posters, and
“First you have to                                                                   long TV show that
                                        spoke out on road harassment on
change the mentality,”                  newscasts and radio broadcasts,
                                                                                     reached millions of
said Francois Agbagli of                and in newspapers. They told the             Togolese. “So, we can't
Trans Alloman, a                        story of how, at numerous                    waste time at check-
trucking company in                     checkpoints along primary routes,            points. Sometimes, we
Togo with more than
                                        customs, police, and gendarmes               lose three or four hours,
100 trucks operating
                                        among others extort bribes from              and with the sun shining,
                                        drivers and delay trucks for what
regionally. When you                                                                 the produce gets hot and
                                        adds up to hours on trips from
can talk about                          coastal ports to landlocked
                                                                                     starts to spoil. By the
something, then you                     capitals and vice versa.                     time we get to Lomé, it's
have some hope of                                                                    a big loss.”
                                        The campaign was welcomed by
changing the behavior.”                 transport industry stakeholders,
                                        from importers and exporters to              SOURCE: West Africa Trade Hub
                                        trucking company managers.                   resourcefiles/mar10/cso-road-
                                        For Peace Adonsou‟s membership               harrassment-success-story.pdf

20                                                                                                         USAID, FEBRUARY 2011

USAID, FEBRUARY 2011                                                                  21
U.S. Agency for International Development
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          Washington, DC 20053
             Tel: (202) 712-0000
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