USAID-funded program to strengthen the private sector in the region
October 29, 2019
WASHINGTON — A hub for international investment and trade aims to improve the competitiveness of the private sector, generate $300 million in private sector investment, and catalyze economic growth in West Africa.
The West Africa Trade and Investment Hub Activity, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, will work across the West Africa region to attract finance and investment, build links among businesses and supporting institutions, and strengthen the agricultural and trade sectors in Nigeria, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and other West African countries.
Creative Associates International will implement the Trade Hub with key partners including Dalberg, Pragma, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture, Connexus Corporation, and Fraym, along with strong private-sector alliances.
Creative President and CEO Leland Kruvant said this consortium’s combined expertise and strong foundation in West Africa will allow it to bring innovative and responsive ideas to this unique program.
“Our market-based approach to economic growth will rapidly build the technical capacity, partnerships and value chains needed to unlock economic potential in West Africa,” Kruvant said.
“We look forward to bringing our partners, the private sector, smallholder farmers and governments together to spark investment in the region.”
In Nigeria, the Trade Hub will promote investment in the agricultural sector to reduce food insecurity and improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers as part of the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative Feed the Future. The Trade Hub will work with the private sector, research institutions and other stakeholders to improve farming practices.
Smallholder farmers will utilize modern technology to increase production, improve processing and strengthen their links with producers and buyers across several value chains, including maize, rice, soybean, cowpea, and aquaculture.
In other West African countries, the Trade Hub will expand the capacity and profitability of regional and American companies exporting apparel, cashew, cocoa, and other commodities by leveraging innovative technologies and improving access to markets that will create sustainable jobs. The Trade Hub will focus on promoting regional trade and international exports guided by buyer demand.
The Trade Hub’s activities will promote inclusive economic growth, creating opportunities for West African women and youth to raise their household incomes, gain new skills and start and grow small businesses as potential and active grantees. The project will also leverage other private entities interested in investing in youth or women to co-create sustainable initiatives for long-term youth and women’s employment.
USAID Trade Hubs across the continent have been instrumental in promoting regional economic integration and securing investment for many of Africa’s nascent and growing industries. To date, the Trade Hubs have generated some $600 million in investment, and that number continues to grow. They are a cornerstone of the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act and key catalysts for U.S.-African trade.
“An investment in West African farms and firms is also ultimately an investment in the U.S. economy,” said Earl Gast, Creative Executive Vice President for Programs. “We look forward to bringing investors together with emerging businesses and generating long-term growth.”
The project is expected to award $60 million in co-investing and co-creation activities that leverage at least $300 million private sector investment and financing.
The five-year project will be based in Abuja, Nigeria, with staff presence elsewhere around the region. It is supported by USAID regional missions in West Africa and the Sahel and country missions in Nigeria, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana.
About Creative Associates International
Creative Associates International works with underserved communities by sharing expertise and experience in education, elections, economic growth, citizen security, governance and transitions from conflict to peace.
Based in Washington, D.C., Creative has offices in nearly 30 countries. Since 1977, it has worked in nearly 90 countries and on almost every continent. Recognized for its ability to work rapidly, flexibly and effectively in conflict-affected environments, Creative is committed to generating long-term sustainable solutions to complex development problems.
Creative has grown to become a leader among the U.S. private sector implementers of global development projects. Creative is minority-owned and operated.