Panel disscussion at the second edition of West Africa Connect Programme
The Ministry of Trade and Industry has commended the West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP) for the hybrid matchmaking initiative to connect industry representatives from the mango, cassava, and ICT value chains for business engagement.
The WACOMP hybrid matchmaking Initiative, funded by the European Union (EU) is estimated to connect more than 160 suppliers from 16 West African countries with more than 20 buyers from West Africa and other regions.
Speaking at the second edition of the West African Connect Event in Accra, Technical Director at the Ministry of Trade and Industry Dr. Asiedu Hawkins said the initiative was recommendable.
“The Ministry of Trade shares the vision of WACOMP for providing a platform for building competitiveness of our SMEs in the country,” he said.
He further stated that the WACOMP initiative has created the platform for ECOWAS Trade Network, Private sector actors to take ownership of this regional initiative to boost intra-African trade and international trade opportunities.
Acting Director of ECOWAS, Kolawole Sofola said the third and fourth pillar of the ECOWAS Vision 2050 which focus on “Economic Integration and Interconnectivity” as well as “Transformation, Inclusive and Sustainable Development” is in alignment with the key objectives of WACOMP, which aims, among others, at improving the performance, growth, and contribution to the industry, regional trade, and exports of selected value chains.
Chief Officer for Africa, International Trade Center, Ruben Phoolchud, also indicated that more than 140 representatives of financial institutions across the ECOWAS region have been trained on sustainable finance to better serve the need of West African SMEs.
“We are working closely with the representative of National Statistical Offices from each ECOWAS member state, to build their capacity on trade data management for the better access, analysis, and utilization of trade data and market intelligence in the region,” he said.
BY Prince Fiifi Yorke