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Trade Hub Co-Investment Partnerships Accelerating Climate Change Adaptation in West Africa


Droughts, floods, and heat waves, amongst other climate disasters, impact many communities around the region, disrupting economies and causing food and water insecurity and scarcity. Climate change remains a defining challenge in West Africa, and the USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade Hub), through its blended finance model, is partnering with 86 private-sector companies to promote localized and sustainable agricultural practices by enabling access to finance to help businesses expand, boost production, and create jobs.


Through these co-investment partnerships, these private sector companies can accelerate private sector investments to actively support businesses to build resilience, mitigate risks, and proffer solutions to adapt to climate change through innovative solutions, such as implementing emission-reduction practices, following regenerative and climate-smart agriculture procedures, increasing plastic recycling, and ensuring sustainable waste management.


Through the co-investment grants provided by the Trade Hub, our co-investment partners are building quality infrastructure to combat climate change and accelerate climate mitigation and adaptation efforts. Recently, a Togolese production and export company, Label d’Or, completed and launched its climate-smart shea processing plant. Achieved through our co-investment partnership, via a Trade Hub grant of $515,888 awarded in November 2021, Label d’Or is promoting local processing of organic and fair-trade shea butter. Leveraging an additional $2.5 million, Label d’Or completed the first climate-smart certified shea processing plant in Togo, which will contribute to significantly increasing its exports of organic-certified shea butter to the United States and European Union and strengthening trade links in the shea value chain. Further, Label d’Or is partnering with over 5,000 local shea collectors in the poorest communities, increasing their incomes and improving their livelihoods.


Plastic waste also contributes to climate risk—to help with plastic waste collection and recycling, an Ivorian company, Coliba Africa (Coliba), has developed a mobile app that connects households and small businesses with informal waste collectors. Through its partnership with the Trade Hub, Coliba is funding the training and capacity-building of informal waste collectors in Abidjan and three neighboring cities, integrating them into its business model by providing formal training and supporting them in building better businesses. Additionally, the collected plastic waste is transformed into conventional-quality food-grade flakes in the European Union markets. Since the launch of the partnership in January 2022, Coliba has successfully trained 4,289 informal collectors.


Financing transformative climate action is key for sustainable development and supporting climate change mitigation strategies. The Trade Hub provided grants to Financial Institutions, Funds, and Advisors (FIAs) such as La Banque Agricole (LBA), and private-sector companies that are mobilizing funds to increase small and medium-sized enterprises' (SMEs’) and smallholder farmers’ access to finance to support climate change adaptation and mitigation, including climate-smart agricultural practices. To date, LBA has installed over 22 solar-powered pumping irrigation systems to support regenerative agriculture practices, and over 388,583 smallholder farmers have been trained in climate-smart agriculture practices, aiding them to have an improved and increased yield.


The Trade Hub is providing these private-sector companies with adequate support and guidance to ensure they continue to implement climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies that are tailored to their local communities, contributing to improved food security, access to clean water and sustainable environments, and the installation of solar power systems, greenhouses, and emission-reduction equipment. The majority of our partners provide smallholders with access to finance, capacity building, and other resources to help them build resilience.


In this edition of The Hub, you will learn more about the great achievements of our co-investment partners and the progress they are making in accelerating climate change adaptation in the region.

Partners Update

As of March 31, 2023, the Trade Hub had awarded a total of 92 co-investment grants for $83.6 million across West Africa and leveraged $277 million in new private investment.


On June 1, 2023, the Trade Hub awarded its 93rd co-investment grant to Ladipo and Lawani Nigeria Limited (L&L). The grant aims to support L&L's project to produce 2,000 metric tons (MT) of high-quality peanuts, which will be supplied to Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) manufacturers accredited by the United Nations World Food Program (UN WFP). Currently, all groundnuts used by Nigerian RUTF manufacturers are imported, leading to increased costs for both manufacturers and consumers.


The co-investment grant, valued at approximately $615,800, will enable L&L to collaborate with 1,000 farmers in Kwara State, Nigeria. Together, they will cultivate improved, aflatoxin-free groundnut varieties. This initiative will not only increase farmers' yields, productivity, and profits but also address food insecurity, promote import substitution, and enhance the sustainability of RUTF production in Nigeria.


The Trade Hub currently operates in 16 West African countries—Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Togo, Benin, Mali, Liberia, Niger, Cabo Verde, Sierra Leone, Guinea, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and Cameroon. These co-investment partnerships are facilitated through the support of USAID missions across West Africa and are funded by the U.S. Government's Prosper Africa and Feed the Future initiatives. These locally-led initiatives provide dedicated funding to promote economic growth and food security in the region.

In 2023, the Trade Hub and its co-investment partners demonstrated their significant contributions to economic growth in West Africa. The successful closure of five grant-funded co-investment projects, which can be explored in detail here, showcased some of the positive outcomes achieved. Additionally, ongoing achievements by other portfolio partners continue to reinforce these efforts.


Throughout the year, the Trade Hub and its investment partners have played an important role in job creation (48,916 jobs created as of March 2023) and income generation. This positive impact extends to both agricultural and non-agricultural sectors. Furthermore, their efforts have led to increased exports of products originating from or produced in West Africa to the United States and other countries.


These accomplishments serve as compelling evidence of the effectiveness of the Trade Hub's co-investment development framework in fostering localized and sustainable economic development in West Africa. By engaging in partnerships with dynamic businesses throughout the region, intervening by way of investment grants to incentivize new private investments, and delivering targeted technical guidance, the Trade Hub and its co-investment partners are driving sustainable growth and advancing the region's prosperity.

Powering a Safer Future: Trade Hub Partners Addressing Climate Change in West Africa with Renewable Clean Energy

Renewable energy, also known as alternative energy, has come to stay. This is apparent in its acceptability across the globe and the significant role it plays in powering businesses, structures, and homes. Read how Trade Hub partners are championing the drive for clean energy across their respective businesses using laudable technologies to generate power. 

Cultivating Climate Resilience: The Trade Hub partners implementing climate-smart agricultural practices in West Africa


In West Africa, the impact of climate change is evident, with shifting rainfall patterns, droughts, and other extreme weather events jeopardizing the livelihoods and productivity of smallholder farmers, who are responsible for majority of the region's food production. The Trade Hub is committed to addressing this challenge through strategic partnerships in West Africa, aiming to implement innovative climate-smart technologies and establish resilient agricultural systems. Learn more about our initiatives here.

Co-investment Partnerships Preserving Water in the Sahel


In the arid regions of the Sahel, water is an invaluable commodity due to vast stretches of desert land. West Africans living in this area face the pressing issue of water scarcity, worsened by droughts, shifting rainfall patterns, and inadequate infrastructure for water management and supply.


The Trade Hub recognizes the urgent need to address this challenge and actively supports projects aimed at improving water accessibility and implementing sustainable water management practices in the region. By investing in initiatives that tackle water scarcity, we aim to alleviate the hardships faced by communities in the Sahel. Learn more about the Trade Hub's efforts in promoting sustainable water management and enhancing water accessibility in the region. 

Bolstering Private Sector Businesses for Strategic and Effective Growth in West Africa


Five Trade Hub grantees recently completed their Trade Hub-funded activities with successful outcomes after their implementation periods. These co-investment partnerships with the Trade Hub have acted as catalysts, creating thousands of jobs, and facilitating the expansion of some of these companies to new countries. Learn more about how these co-investments have fueled business growth and economic opportunities and how that will continue in the future.

Success in the Making

Nalmaco Nigeria Successfully Recovers Outgrower Loans


In September 2021, the Trade Hub granted Nalmaco $834,062 as a co-investment to support its grains aggregation and processing project. The project aimed to enhance food security and promote competitiveness in the agribusiness sector.

Nalmaco's primary objective was to engage 2,000 farmers cultivating maize and soybeans in Kaduna State's Soba, Igabi, and Giwa local government areas (LGAs). With the co-investment grant, Nalmaco was able to hire eight agricultural extension agents who facilitated the screening and enrollment of 1,600 farmers (49 percent of whom were female and 81 percent were youth) into their database for the 2022 wet season.


The successful recovery of outgrower loans underscores the positive impact of the Trade Hub's co-investment grant. Nalmaco's efforts in empowering farmers and promoting agricultural productivity contribute to the region's food security and economic growth. Learn more about Nalmaco's achievements.

Global Mamas Puts Sustainability at the Forefront of Manufacturing through a Partnership with USAID


In July 2022, with support from a co-investment grant of $497,112 from the Trade Hub, Global Mamas put their approach to sustainability into practice and began operating from their new proprietary Fair-Trade Zone (FTZ), the first production factory of its kind in Ghana. Global Mamas constructed the FTZ with eco-friendly materialsbamboo and compressed earth blocksusing no paint or plastic. Read more here

Launching a Recycling Revolution

Coliba Africa (Coliba) is on a mission to revolutionize recycling in Côte d'Ivoire and beyond by connecting households and small businesses with informal waste collectors. Through their innovative approach, Coliba enables collectors to receive formal training, empowering them to build better businesses. Citizens can utilize a mobile app and community collection containers to conveniently dispose of their plastic bottles.


The collected plastic bottles are then transformed into high-quality flakes, suitable for plastic manufacturing and food-grade packaging. This circular system contributes to the reduction of plastic waste and promotes a sustainable value chain.


In December 2021, the West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade Hub), funded by USAID, partnered with Coliba through a co-investment grant. This collaboration aims to establish and implement a comprehensive training and capacity-building project, integrating informal waste collectors into the value chain. Since January 2022, over 4,500 collectors have received training, resulting in the creation of over 85 jobs, with more than 88 percent of those positions being occupied by women.

The remarkable efforts of Coliba have resulted in the collection of over 115 million plastic bottles (equivalent to over 2,300 MT) in Abidjan. This significant accomplishment translates into preventing over 6,000 tons of carbon emissions from polluting the environment. Coliba's innovative solution to plastic pollution is worthy of celebration and serves as a replicable model.


To learn more about Coliba's inspiring work and successes, watch the video and meet Kevin, one of the beneficiaries of their program. 

Partner's Spotlight: Entreprise Salma

Nafissa Hamidou, a catalyst in Niger, has been honored as the Nigerien Woman of the Year 2023 by the U.S. Embassy in Niger. She holds the distinction of being the first woman in Niger to invest in animal feed and establish a state-of-the-art plant for manufacturing livestock feed from crop residues. Her remarkable achievements have garnered recognition and admiration from her peers and the wider community.


As the founder and general manager of Entreprise Salma, an agribusiness company focused on supporting the livestock sector, Nafissa has charted an incredible journey from her background in midwifery training to becoming a respected business leader in Niger. Her dedication and passion have driven her success in a traditionally male-dominated industry.

Nafissa's recent award is a testament to her unwavering commitment to entrepreneurship and her significant contributions to the livestock sector. In sharing her story, she sheds light on her career path, triumphs, and the challenges she encountered as a woman venturing into the world of business.


Serving as an example for aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly women, Nafissa's inspiring journey demonstrates resilience, determination, and the ability to overcome obstacles in pursuit of her goals.

Q: The U.S. Embassy Award for Nigerien Woman of the Year is presented annually to an outstanding woman in recognition of her work and its positive impact on her community and country's development. What does it mean to you to receive this award? 


A: This accolade holds significant symbolic meaning for me. It represents all the challenging work and sacrifices I have made since starting this adventure. 


Indeed, I started working in NGOs and associations quite early on. However, in 2014, I took the risk of quitting a paid job and devoted myself to my project to set up a business producing and selling livestock feed based on locally sourced raw materials (crop residues). With approximately 800,000 francs CFA ($1,300) in my bank account, I withdrew 750,000 in francs CFA ($1,220) to buy my very first shredder. From a small gasoline-powered manual grinder—which made 40 bags a day—Entreprise Salma has now moved up to a semi-automated unit making 400 bags daily. As of 2019, despite the difficulties associated with women's entrepreneurship in Niger and the COVID epidemic, Entreprise Salma was able to diversify its customer portfolio with organizations, such as the United Nations Agencies, NGOs, and associations. In 2021, we obtained support from USAID and BSIC (Banque Sahélo Saharienne pour l'Investissement et le Commerce) NIGER to set up a 10 metric ton (MT) per hour industrial production unit. 


Receiving this prize is also a testament that Nigerien women can succeed. 



Q: What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? 


A: I used to work for various organizations active in the rural world, in particular the Plateforme Paysanne du Niger, where for years I shared the ordeal of my country's livestock farmers struggling with the problem of feeding their herds. I wanted to be useful and make my modest contribution to the development of this important livestock-impacting sector in Niger. There is also this innate strength in me that constantly pushes me to take on challenges, create value, and be active.



Q: What advice would you give to a woman who wants to follow your path? 


A: It is essential to have a lot of courage, believe in yourself, and work hard. The lifecycle of Enterprise Salma is punctuated by challenges. Hardly has one problem been resolved and another arises. As we receive this award this year, it is thanks to our commitment and all these values. On many occasions, I almost ended my efforts, but I persevered with the help of people who believed in me. 


I would like to take this opportunity to thank my mother, who sold her only piece of land to help me overcome my many failures. 



Q: The effects of climate change in Niger have led to considerable and continuous deficits in the country’s animal feed production, which covers only about half of Niger's needs. What methods does Entreprise Salma use to be sustainable? 


A: The problem of climate change and the associated shortage of fodder is a major one for a country like Niger, where the vast majority of the population depends on livestock for their livelihood. Massive imports of agro-industrial products (namely, wheat bran and cotton cake) have not provided adequate solutions. According to statistics for 2022, Niger has over 70 million heads of livestock. Demand for livestock feed is far from being covered by supply, and Entreprise Salma has a significant role to play. 


With a current capacity of 4,000 MT/year and a long-term capacity of 35,000 MT/year, Entreprise Salma is financially and economically viable, with significant potential in terms of market share. Our solution, based on enriched local products (crop residues), is also sustainable given the availability of raw materials. Irrigated production is expected to improve the availability of crop residues. Biodegradable millet, sorghum, and cowpea stalks are either thrown away, used for roofing, or burnt to make nutritious livestock feed, all of which combat soil degradation and bushfires. Not only are Entreprise Salma’s activities eco-friendly, but they also have the dual advantage of increasing the income of both livestock farmers and the producers who supply raw materials.  



Q: Please share with us some of the key milestones of Entreprise Salma’s partnership with the Trade Hub. 


A: This partnership is a wonderful experience for me. The approach is a combination of subsidy, technical support, and private fundraising—a mix that maximizes the chances for success. 


At the start of the bid, we received close technical support from the Trade Hub for the implementation of the project. Today our achievements are the result of continued support. Following the approval of the project and the mobilization of our leverage through a short-term loan from BSIC NIGER, payments have started and continue today with the monitoring of activities and the completion of the different milestones. 


The results obtained and the desire to make them sustainable have led to an extension of the grant for an additional unit to manufacture cattle feed in granulated form, to complement the "flour" unit. 


Once again, many thanks to the entire Trade Hub team! 

In Other News

#BeatPlasticPollution Webinar

In celebration of World Environment Day on June 7, 2023, the Trade Hub, along with its co-investment partners, Coliba Africa and Global Mamas, hosted the webinar #BeatPlasticPollution: The Trade Hub co-investment partners implementing smart actions to tackle plastic pollution in West Africa


The event brought together over 80 participants and featured speakers from Coliba Africa (a business based in Côte d’Ivoire focusing on plastic collection and recycling), Global Mamas (a social enterprise based in Ghana using organic, biodegradable raw materials), and the Trade Hub’s team working to support and verify environmental compliance. They shared engaging information that ranged from how the co-investment partnerships support initiatives for environmentally friendly production, to specific data regarding plastic collection and recycling, to individual participation in climate change resilience. 


Watch the webinar video.

U.S. Delegation Visits DTRT

During Vice President Harris’ Visit to Ghana

During the visit of Vice President Kamala Harris and her delegation to Ghana in March, USAID organized site visits to Do the Right Thing (DTRT), a Trade Hub co-investment partner. These visits aimed to showcase USAID's efforts in economic growth and job creation, with a particular aim to empower women and youth in the region.


DTRT specializes in fabric production and garment manufacturing, with a focus on key product categories such as synthetic performance textiles, knit tops, and poly-performance fleece tops. The company's core values include maintaining a safe, comfortable, and inclusive work environment while upholding integrity at all levels.


The site visits were coordinated in collaboration with Madam Salma Salifu (Managing Director, DTRT) and Wasantha Parera (Global Chief Operating Officer, DTRT), as well as representatives from USAID and the Trade Hub, including Pearl Colman Ackah (Private Sector Team Lead, USAID/Ghana), Rhoda Tsivanyo (Public Private Partnerships Officer, Trade Hub), and Ann Dela Apekey (Gender, Equality, and Social Inclusion Manager, Trade Hub).


Over the span of two days, the delegation had the opportunity to visit DTRT's apparel factories in both Accra and Tema, gaining firsthand insights into the company's operations and its contribution to the local economy.

Present at the Accra site visits were Ambassador Johnnie Carson (Senior Advisor to the President of the U.S. Institute of Peace) and Kimberly Rosen (Mission Director, USAID/Ghana), while Grace Lang (USAID Foreign Service Officer) and Jamille Bigio (USAID Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Office in Washington, D.C.) visited the factory site in Tema.


The management of DTRT highlighted the significance and impact of the $760,000 grant received from USAID/Trade Hub, which empowered the company to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic and retain its staff. They indicated the impactful outcomes of the co-investment partnership with the Trade Hub, and its role in enabling the company to employ and train over 5,000 employees, out of which 70 percent are young women.


The coordination of these visits exemplifies the collaborative efforts between DTRT, USAID, and the Trade Hub in promoting localized economic development, job creation, and gender equality in Ghana.

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Disclaimer: The contents of this newsletter are the sole responsibility of Creative Associates International and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the United States Government, or Prosper Africa.