Championing economic growth in West Africa USAID West Africa Trade and Investment Hub

Leveraging Private Sector Engagement to Promote Sustainable Impact

A USAID West Africa Trade & Investment Hub Learning Event

September 6-7, 2023

Learn how the Trade Hub and its partners have used a blended finance approach to bolster economic growth, trade expansion and investment opportunities for private-sector businesses in West Africa.

The USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment Hub is a 5-year project to improve private sector productivity, profitability and competitiveness in West Africa. The Trade Hub creates jobs and increases trade between the United States and West Africa by generating new private-sector capital investment in key sectors.

Improving food security

As many as 38 million people in West Africa face food insecurity, and the risk is growing due to conflict, the pandemic and drought. The Trade Hub’s co-investment grants support over 86 private-sector businesses to work with farmers in the region to improve their agricultural practices. By supporting innovative private sector initiatives, the Trade Hub seeks to expand business operations, increase productivity and support smallholder farmers’ growth. In Nigeria, for example, Nalmaco, Thrive Agric and Adefunke Desh invested about $11.4 million in inputs (such as improved, high-yield climate resistant seed varieties, fertilizers and specific crop blends and crop protection products) for 23,600 farmers during the planting season.

Boosting employment among women and youth

The Trade Hub is on track to create 73,000 new, well-paying private sector jobs, with half dedicated to women and youth. In addition to employment, the Trade Hub makes the business case to include women and youth as partners to capture their innovation and co-ownership and trains its co-investment partners in gender and youth inclusion. The Trade Hub has awarded $14 million in co-investment grants to 17 women-owned/led businesses, and these businesses have mobilized $38,527,051 in private investment.

Building regional resilience to climate change

Agriculture is a leading sector to address climate adaptation and mitigation. The Trade Hub’s partnerships promote sustainable agricultural practices by working with high-performing companies that finance and share expertise in climate adaptation with an emphasis on smallholder farmers. The Trade Hub and over 60 of its co-investment partners are accelerating private sector investments in actively supporting businesses to build resilience, mitigate risks, and adapt to climate change through new technologies and improved practices. In Cabo Verde, four grantees — Agrosoluções, Sucla, Inpharma and Fresk — are achieving drastic CO2 emission reductions of over 500 tons per year through solar energy.

Fostering agri-business competitiveness and productivity

Ensuring that agri-businesses of all sizes have access to finance, technology and improved value chain management are keys to their success. The Trade Hub’s co-investment grants are helping companies to expand business operations, increase productivity and create jobs in the region. The Trade Hub’s blended finance model has supported 92 public-private partnerships that have leveraged more than $115 million in private capital across 23 value chains.

Boosting regional and international exports

West African businesses have two excellent growth opportunities — trade among other countries in the region and exports to the United States through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade preference program. The Trade Hub’s co-investments and technical support to nearly 50 companies have resulted in almost $20 million in exports, with more to come. These companies also improve trade in ways that make sustainable differences in the lives of people, bolstering the well-being of communities and improving economies in the region.