West Africa gets a tool to boost regional exports

A new online tool, the West Africa Competitiveness Observatory, was launched on May 21 to help countries in the region increase intra-regional trade and better position themselves on global markets.

Developed by the ECOWAS Commission and the International Trade Centre (ITC), with financial support from the European Union, the Observatory provides policymakers and businesses with valuable information and analysis to identify business opportunities and improve their competitiveness.

“The Observatory will provide important information to policymakers and businesses to take advantage of international markets. By helping SMEs to effectively access the market, it will create jobs and contribute to economic growth,” said Ms. Massandjé TOURE-LITSE, Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture of the ECOWAS Commission.

A comprehensive tool to boost trade

The Observatory offers three main modules:

  • The trade competitiveness module allows to track and analyze the trade performance of ECOWAS countries at global, continental and regional levels.
  • The regional value chains module provides information on five key sectors: clothing and textiles, beauty and personal care, processed baby food, processed fish and crustacean products, and processed fruits, vegetables and roots.
  • The business matchmaking module facilitates cross-border collaboration by connecting businesses with potential partners throughout the region.

Strong potential for West Africa

West Africa has an estimated intra-regional export potential of $3.2 billion, of which more than half remains untapped. The West Africa Competitiveness Observatory aims to help the region realize this potential and become a hub for economic growth and opportunity on the world stage.

“Policymakers and businesses, use the Observatory to discover the untapped trade potential of your region and transform this potential into tangible economic benefits,” said Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of ITC. “We hope to see businesses, especially small businesses, make the most of this tool to find buyers and explore new markets.”

A crucial launch for the region’s economic future

The launch of the West Africa Competitiveness Observatory comes at a crucial time for the region, which is facing the challenges of globalization, technological advances and the changing trade landscape. This valuable tool should help ECOWAS countries meet these challenges and take advantage of the opportunities offered by international trade.


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