A woman in Global Mamas’ Trade Hub-supported Water Hyacinth Harvesting Training gathers the invasive weed from a waterway in Atsavanya, a community not far the company’s office in Ghana’s Eastern Region. After learning how to harvest hyacinth, she and other community members will start receiving orders for the plant, which will be used by Global Mamas’ staff and partners to make beautiful handcrafts.
Editorial Note from the Trade Hub
Hello Everyone,
 
As the world slowly adjusts to the new normal of living with COVID-19, the West Africa Trade & Investment Hub has done its part to support the private sector during these difficult times. After our scope was expanded in August 2020 to assist businesses affected during the pandemic and collaborate with the private sector to respond to key issues affecting the region, notably the access to finance and food security, the Trade Hub has awarded 22 co-investment grants under its COVID-19 initiative. Covering several countries within the region, these partnerships aim to stimulate economic growth and job creation while assisting those most affected by the pandemic, particularly women and youth.
 
In addition to this targeted COVID-19 support, the Trade Hub also has co-investment grants with businesses and financial institutions to catalyze new private investment and increase the overall value of exports, especially to the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Thanks to these collaborations and the continued support of our stakeholders, the Trade Hub presently has 39 co-investment grants valued at over $36 million. Combined, these grants will help generate over $260 million of new private investment from businesses and investors. We anticipate even more new co-investments and to catalyze new private investment over the next 3 months, which will have a direct and positive impact on West Africans.
 
We humbly invite you to see all the efforts made in West Africa, thanks to our strong public-private partnerships across the region. With the support from the private sector, USAID, and other stakeholders, we will continue to stimulate economic growth and trade despite the challenges of COVID-19.

 
Karl Littlejohn
Acting Chief of Party
West Africa Trade & Investment Hub
New Co-Investment Partnerships
Nigeria
Tomato Jos increasing maize
and soybean production

Responding to the decline in maize and soybean production in Nigeria, Tomato Jos has launched a 3-year co-investment project with the Trade Hub to provide 4,000 smallholder farmers in Kaduna State with the resources, training, and ongoing support to grow and then increase production of these two staple crops. The company will utilize a $1.2M Trade Hub grant in support of this effort. 
Premier Seed boosting
production of high-quality seeds

Approximately 750 farmers in Nigeria’s Kebbi, Kaduna, Niger, Benue, Cross River, Delta, and Ebonyi States will be contracted by Premier Seeds to produce 3,000 metrics tons of improved maize, rice, soybean, and cowpea seeds. This effort is backed by a $394,000 Trade Hub research and development grant. 
Babban Gona scaling up
services for farmers

By leveraging its $500K Trade Hub grant, Babban Gona will strengthen the capacities of 56,000 maize and rice smallholder farmers in Nigeria. The farmers will receive training, financial credit, agricultural inputs, and harvesting and marketing services, enabling them to improve their labor productivity, market access, and incomes.
 
Nature’s Bounty strengthening farmer supply chain for dried fruits

Nature’s Bounty, the largest dried fruit processing, marketing, and distribution company in Nigeria, will leverage a $499,000 Trade Hub grant to counter business and supply disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of its project, it will partner with 250 fruit farmers in Nigeria’s Kaduna, Oyo, Edo, Ondo, and Lagos States to increase its supply of fresh fruit for its array of products. These farmers will also receive training in optimal planting techniques, farmland tending and management, and harvesting and storage best practices.
Senegal
Biosene strengthening
supply chains of agri-foods

Backed by a $479K
co-investment to counter setbacks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Biosene will purchase 340 metric tons of semi-finished products and raw materials composed of millet, fonio, baobab fruits and powder, hibiscus, moringa, and white beans from 6,600 farmers and processors, allowing it to generate approximately $1 million in expected exports during its
2-year Trade Hub partnership.
Club Tiosanne taking fresh grocery delivery service
to the next level

In a bid to meet urban consumers’ demand for the fast and affordable delivery of fresh groceries in Senegal, Club Tiosanne will use a $495K Trade Hub grant to further grow its business, including through building distribution partnerships with 400 additional small-scale producers in the country and deploying a technology platform to make ordering easier for customers
La Laiterie du Berger SA boosting fresh milk production

La Laiterie du Berger SA will scale up its milk suppliers’ network in Senegal with the assistance of a $518K Trade Hub co-investment grant. As part of this effort, it will create 1,150 new supplier/herder accounts, with the goal of collecting 5,000 tons of premium milk in 2 years.
Locafique increasing financial inclusion for agriculture SMEs

The Senegalese financial leasing institution will build on its goal of providing agriculture and
agri-business SMEs with innovative financing solutions to help them grow their businesses. The project, backed by a $1.5M Trade Hub co-investment, will target 440 micro-entrepreneurs who would typically lack access to private capital and bank loans.
Agro Boye reducing import-dependency of key crops
More locally grown potatoes, tomatoes, and onions will soon be available to consumers in Senegal through the Trade Hub’s 3-year co-investment partnership with Agro Boye. Leveraging its $1.1M Trade Hub grant, the company will with cultivate 240 hectares of virgin land to produce 8,610 metric tons of potatoes, 720 metric tons of tomatoes, and 5,120 metric tons of onions by the project’s end.
Entreprise Aïssatou Gaye amping up rice production
Supported by a $450,842 Trade Hub co-investment, Entreprise Aïssatou Gaye will build on its success of partnering with paddy rice farmers to increase white rice production in the Ross Bethio area of Senegal and help reduce the country’s dependence on imported rice. This woman-owned company will onboard 375 farmers to its current network of 1,545 paddy rice producers as part of this effort.
Côte d'Ivoire & Niger
Injaro Investments channeling private capital to agribusinesses

Leveraging its $1M Trade Hub co-investment grant, Injaro Investments will catalyze and disperse $5 million in private investments to four companies operating in the cashew, mango, and shea export value chains. During its 3-year project with the Trade Hub, it expects to create 133 new jobs, notably for both youth and women; increase and diversify the source of revenue for 4,250 smallholder farmers; and generate $33.91 million in export revenue.
Ferme Semencière Ainoma strengthening its value chain

Through the expansion of its production area and the installation of an irrigation system, Niger-based La Ferme Semencière Ainoma (FSA) will upgrade its value chain to produce 2,408 tons of tomatoes, peppers, and onions by 2022. These advancements, backed by its Trade Hub co-investment grant of $461,526, will allow FSA to produce year-round, guaranteeing an income for female producers while also contributing to the achievement of Niger's food security objectives.
Ghana, Guinea, Liberia & Benin
Warc Ghana tackles poverty
among subsistence farmers

Warc Ghana will build on its success in moving smallholder farmers from subsistence farming to commercial farming with a new project in Ghana’s Easter Region that will give 20,000 farmers easier access to quality maize and soybean seeds, modern machinery, training, and services to speed crop production. With the support of its $1.2M co-investment grant, this project is expected to generate $4.76 in annual exports from Ghana by 2024.
La Petite Damba scaling up
fonio production

La Petite Damba was awarded a $258,000 co-investment grant to help the Guinean-based company significantly increase its production, storage, and processing capacity of fonio to meet the growing local and global demand for this nutrient-packed grain. Through its Trade Hub partnership, it anticipates generating additional export revenues of $435K to the United States and other countries in West Africa by 2022.
Libassa Ecolodge protecting
Liberia’s biodiversity

The Trade Hub has awarded a $262K co-investment grant to help establish Libassa Ecolodge, a privately funded facility being built in Liberia’s Warkolor forest. The ecolodge will contribute to the conservation of 1,844 hectares of the forest through sustainable ecotourism activities that will also benefit the surrounding communities through new business and economic opportunities.
 Tolaro Global boosting Benin’s exports of organic cashew nuts

Tolaro Global, a leading cashew processing company in Benin, will leverage a $1M Trade Hub grant to meet the growing demand for cashew products among U.S. and European consumers. For this initiative, the company will increase its processing capacity for cashews, assist 3,863 cashew producers in Benin to obtain certified organic qualifications, and create new lines of revenue. 
News Update
Virtual DealRoom Video
Ready to Share
By Frantz Tavares,
Public Private Partnership Consultant

The Trade Hub recently published a video about our Virtual DealRoom (VDR) to give investors and business owners another avenue to learn about the opportunity the VDR provides to meet, match, and make deals.
Launched in March 2021, the VDR is an online platform developed by the Trade Hub to give global investors information and access to viable business opportunities within West Africa-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is housed on Asoko Insight, a website providing global investors, multinationals, and development institutions with an effective route to discover, shortlist, and engage with African companies.

Firms listed in the VDR may operate in a range of sectors, including agriculture, financial services, healthcare, water and sanitation, biodiversity, ecotourism, energy, apparel, and logistics. When applying for inclusion in the VDR, companies are vetted by Asoko Insight’s team, which reviews their past performance, financial stability, and growth potential. Likewise, investors must be vetted prior to connecting with any business that appears to be a great match for their interests.

Since March, the Trade Hub have been able to facilitate 30 matches between investors and companies, with some investors taking interest in multiple opportunities. This is a very good start that is putting us on the path to expand access to the platform to more companies and investors.

Through this video and further outreach to investors and businesses, we expect to help facilitate more private investment into SMEs. Please join the effort and share the video (available in English, French, and Portuguese).

Feel free to reach out directly at info@westafricatih.com for any inquiries you may have about the VDR or other co-investment opportunities available at the Trade Hub.
Sharing Opportunities through AGOA
On Sept. 21, the Trade Hub partnered with the U.S. Consulate in Lagos to organize a webinar under the theme ‟Taking Advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act.”
 
More than 200 people attended this webinar on Zoom, with the majority of participants affiliated with the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs and POWER Workshop, two programs funded by the U.S. Government. The webinar also streamed on Facebook live and garnered more than 3,000 viewers.
 
As part of the webinar, the Trade Hub’s AGOA Specialist, Kara Diallo, took participants through the requirements to export to the United States under AGOA. Thus, participants learned about documentation needed to export apparel and agri-foods products as well as the main requirements of the U.S. FDA. In addition, participants received information on the technical assistance available at the Trade Hub for export-ready businesses.     
 
In addition to Kara Diallo, panelists included Udodi Okoh from the Bureau of Economic & Business Affairs; Jillian Foerster from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency; and Chinwe Ezenwa, CEO of Le Look Bags.       
 
Watch the recording here: https://fb.watch/8c20vJ5Z4J/

For more information on the Trade Hub’s AGOA support, please read our fact sheet and visit https://westafricatradehub.com/agoa/
Partner's Spotlight: Adefunke Desh Nigeria
Adefunke Desh Nigeria (ADN) is a leader in the Nigerian agribusiness space, specializing in the cultivation and processing of grains such as maize, sorghum, millet, sesame, and soybeans for local and international consumers. In this Q&A, Adeoluwa Adeshola, ADN’s Managing Director, highlights how the Trade Hub partnership is helping the company meet the growing demand for its high-quality grains.
In Other News
Trade Hub Staff & Partners Featured
in New Series by Creative Associates International
Creative International, the main USAID-implementing partner for the Trade Hub, released two videos spotlighting our partners and the Trade Hub’s work.

In one episode, Public-Private Partnership Manager Etienne Chia-ah discusses our co-investment partnership with Ghana-based Global Mamas, including how we are working with the social enterprise to be a more resilient organization after it suffered setbacks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Etienne also explains the highly comprehensive and collaborative application process for Trade Hub’s co-investments and shares some of his best practices and lessons learned.

In another episode, Public-Private Partnership Manager Charles Polet shares details on the Trade Hub’s partnership with Ethical Apparel Africa, a Ghana-based apparel sourcing company. Charles also provides insight on the Trade Hub's unique model for development finance and the considerations that are made for timeline and risk.
Partners in the News
The Trade Hub’s co-investment partnership with OCP Africa was covered widely after the announcement in June, including through two interviews with the company’s Country Manager for, Nigeria, Caleb Usoh. In his feature story with Morocco World News, he highlighted how the modern blending equipment his partnership with the Trade Hub makes possible will enable fertilizer access to thousands of farmers in West Africa. In his exclusive interview with Agrigate Global, Mr. Usoh shared insight on how the partnership will increase access to quality inputs and low-cost financing for farmers.
Job Announcement!
The Trade Hub is hiring for a Communications Officer based in Senegal or Côte d'Ivoire. Please view our announcement and share with those who might be a great candidate: https://westafricatradehub.com/jobs/communications-officer/
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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.