By Blessing Lass, Senior Communications Specialist
Over the past 4 months, the Trade Hub awarded approximately $21 million in co-investment grants to 28 companies, bringing our total number of co-investment partners to 71. The grants, ranging from $250,000 to $2 million, were made possible through USAID missions throughout the region, as well as through dedicated funding through the U.S. Government’s Prosper Africa and Feed the Future initiatives. These co-investment partnerships cut across 10 West African countries—Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Cabo Verde, and Togo—representing the wide presence the Trade Hub has and seeks to strengthen in West Africa.
The projects developed through these Trade Hub partnerships will contribute significantly to economic growth in West Africa, including through creating jobs, boosting incomes for people working in dozens of industries, and increasing U.S. exports of products sourced from or made in the region. Notably, the projects are as different as the companies the Trade Hub, through USAID and Prosper Africa, have invested in, including the recently awarded companies focused on water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), agriculture, financial services, and apparel. Learn about some of the sectors that the Trade Hub’s newer co-investment partnerships are engaging in:
West Africa Water SA: In Senegal, one of the focal areas of intervention is supporting private sector-led WASH projects. In October 2021, the Trade Hub awarded a $505,000 co-investment grant to one of its first partners in the WASH sector, Senegal-based West Africa Water SA, to build upon the company’s goal to commercially produce safe drinking water in Senegal. West Africa Water will leverage its investments to deploy its potable water-producing “Diam’O franchise kiosks” in new localities in the Dakar region and improve the performance of 25 existing kiosks in Dakar, Thies, and Kaolack. This activity will provide access to quality and affordable drinking water to 78,905 people and create approximately 413 jobs, the majority for women and youth, by December 2023.
DELTA SA: Backed by its $1 million Trade Hub co-investment grant, Delta SA will scale up its already successful efforts in Senegal to improve sanitation services and the sewerage network. This partner’s project has the potential to increase access to better sanitation and water services for 121,612 people and create 319 new jobs by the partnership’s end in April 2024.
Newpal Nigeria Limited (Newpal): The Trade Hub awarded a COVID-19 Rapid Response co-investment grant of approximately $1.7 million to Newpal Nigeria Limited. The grant will enable Newpal to support 2,000 farmers to establish an uninterrupted supply of high-quality maize and soybean grains to its processing factory, in turn strengthening the resilience of smallholder farmers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing food insecurity, and creating employment opportunities for youth and women. Through training farmers in agricultural best practices and providing quality seeds and other inputs, Newpal is expected to help increase farmers’ yields from 2.3 metric tons per hectare to 4 metric tons per hectare for maize, and from 1.9 metric tons per hectare to 4 metric tons per hectare for soybeans.
Agroserv Industries: To contribute to the sustainable development of the maize value chain in Burkina Faso, Agroserv Industries was awarded a Trade Hub grant of approximately $1.5 million. The share of maize supplies directly purchased from Agroserv Industries’ producers will increase from its current 20 percent to 75 percent, in turn boosting producers’ incomes. The partnership’s success will support Agroserv to increase the volume of its exports, from 500 tons in 2020 to an expected 2,000 tons by 2024.
Savannah Fruits Company: Savannah Fruits Company will be increasing exports of West Africa-produced shea butter to the United States and other countries by leveraging a $1.47 million co-investment Trade Hub grant through Prosper Africa. Savannah Fruits Company will support 21,000 shea collectors and processors in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, and Mali as part of its Trade Hub project. The company will also train 12 newly formed cooperatives in business management, collection, processing, and production practices that meet international standards.
EcoCajou: A Trade Hub co-investment grant of $800,000 to EcoCajou will strengthen the cashew value chain in Northern Côte d’Ivoire. The project will provide supplier capacity-building and install a new processing unit with an annual capacity of 15,000 metric tons of raw nuts. This will enable EcoCajou to procure more cashews from partnering suppliers and increase its exports of cashews, especially to European and United States markets. The project will directly benefit 4,738 producers who rely on cashew as their primary cash crop and create 477 jobs in food processing.
Mali Shi SA: Establishing a new West African global value chain for fonio centered in Mali is the goal for Mali Shi SA. Leveraging its Trade Hub co-investment grant of approximately $1.9 million and leveraging an additional $11.6 million in private capital and resources, Mali Shi SA will establish direct exports of 4,800 metric tons per year of fonio between the United States and Mali by the end of its 2.6-year project. Mali Shi SA expects to export $5 million in fonio and plans to create 13,714 agricultural jobs during the project period.
African Guarantee Fund: Leveraging a $2.5 million Trade Hub grant, African Guarantee Fund is establishing a two-part COVID-19 Guarantee Facility that allows it to issue up to $80 million in guarantees to 30 partner financial institutions, making up to $160 million in financing available for 3,000 West African small and medium-sized businesses. The facility’s overall performance will be instrumental in creating up to 15,000 jobs and generating $100 million in sales and $8 million in exports.
LoftyInc Allied Partners Limited (LoftyInc): The Trade Hub awarded a co-investment grant of approximately $1.44 million to LoftyInc’s “Project Sparrow” to improve Nigerian smallholder farmers’ productivity and livelihoods in seven Feed the Future states and five designated value chains. By leveraging its Trade Hub grant, LoftyInc will provide incremental direct financing of $6.5 million to not less than 20 companies (half of which will be youth or women-led) that have been made investment ready, creating a portfolio of innovative agribusiness and agritech companies that will collectively support 4,000 direct jobs.
Sinergi Burkina: Sinergi Burkina, a company dedicated to financing and supporting start-ups and small and medium enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa, will leverage its $1 million Trade Hub co-investment grant to provide eight companies in Burkina Faso with access to finance by disbursing $7.6 million in equity and loans for working capital and capital expenditures. The company will also provide technical assistance to the eight companies to increase their impact and value creation.
DTRT Apparel Ltd: With a Trade Hub co-investment grant of $760,000, DTRT Apparel Ltd, a regional market leader in apparel manufacturing in West Africa, will leverage additional private investments to expand its exports to large U.S. clothing brands. It will generate more than $100 million in cumulative exports and establish at least three new global apparel brands while creating 1,710 new jobs.
The Trade Hub looks forward to working with both our new co-investment partners and those co-investment partners that were awarded grants earlier and have begun project implementation. You can stay updated on our co-investment partners’ successes through our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.