The USAID West Africa Trade and Investment Hub (Trade Hub) has trained coordinators from seven West African countries to assist businesses with the processes and documentation required for exporting to the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
The coordinators from AGOA Trade Resource Centers (ATRCs) in Ghana, as well as Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Senegal will convened for the training on how to deliver services in trade intelligence, export development, business promotion and trade facilitation.
This is aimed at helping existing and potential exporters.
Participants also learned from best practices across the region and shared experiences in supporting exporters.
Hosted within local institutions, the ATRCs have assisted over 2,700 businesses, seeking to export to the United States under AGOA, which waives duties and quotas on thousands of goods made in eligible in sub-Saharan African countries.
Since 2005, USAID has provided grants to build the sustainability of the ATRC network and the host institutions which provide trade-related services to private sector companies.
The grants, cover training and the costs of building a database of exporters, further enabling ATRCs to develop exporters’ capacity, market linkages, and sector-specific strategies to boost trade.
USAID supports greater use of AGOA’s tariff advantages across West Africa.
Each ATRC is expected to undertake activities that enhance the export potential of companies seeking to take advantage of AGOA.
These activities include; developing and providing trade intelligence services through trade and business associations or directly to individual businesses.
Other activities are packaging, costing, financing, business promotion services and facilitation of regional and international business linkages.
The support is building a solid and sustainable network of local institutions that can tailor services to the private sector to enhance their capacity to trade regionally and export to international markets.