Countries / Territories

WACOMP Regional



    Alongside the ECOWAS commission, the International Trade Centre (ITC) is an implementing agency of the regional component of the WACOMP programme together with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). ITC will seek to increase regional integration by capitalising on growth opportunities and strengthen product competitiveness in select value chains.

    The programme aims to promote a conducive business environment and cultivate intra-regional trade. WACOMP will stress the need for greater participation of the private sector to include public-private dialogue and form an enriched policy framework. Mauritania and the ECOWAS Member States will work autonomously at a national level to fulfil the programme’s components.

    WACOMP programme countries will capitalise on the unexploited potential of regional integration by placing a focus on improving micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) likelihood to secure investment. The programme will also focus on advancing production and processing in the agro-food sector to increase regional market consumption capabilities.

    Strengthening regional capacities in trade

    ITC’s primary areas of focus within the WACOMP programme will seek to establish a competitive business environment for West African countries and spur intra-regional trade. The programme will strengthen regional value chains by identifying specific value chain products and enhance the production, processing and regional market capabilities. WACOMP will work towards a cohesive policy framework by ensuring greater participation of the private sector through the ECOWAS business council. The council will encourage public-private dialogue and deliver insight on regulatory reforms at both regional and national levels.

    To improve business performance and along value chains connectivity amongst private sector players, WACOMP will focus on reinforcing the service delivery of Trade and Investment Support Institutions (TISIs). After an assessment to identify existing gaps in their service delivery, TISI workforces will receive customised training and coaching to broaden the services provided to MSMEs. ITC will also establish a regional network for TIPOs to encourage sharing best practices and sharing knowledge for the benefit of regional value chains.

    Lifting barriers to trade

    Trade regulations and procedures represent a major source of barriers to international trade and a particular challenge for MSMEs in the ECOWAS region. According to ITC's non-tariff measures surveys, more than three-quarters of West African companies encounter trade obstacles during the import or export of their goods.

    As part of WACOMP, ITC will introduce a number technological tools to gather comprehensive information about the region and assist with monitoring existing trade barriers. The Trade Obstacles Alert Mechanism (TOAM) will assist with identifying existing trade obstacles to ensure the regional flow of trade improves once these obstacles are addressed. The TOAM is already available in the following eight WAEMU countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Togo and Senegal) and will be introduced to the remaining ECOWAS Member States.

    To begin promoting select value chain products, WACOMP will introduce the competitive intelligence web portal. The portal will highlight the identified value chain products competitive advantages to secure profitable selling prices for these goods at market. ITC will also introduce the ECOWAS trade map tool to assist with tracking trade performance in the region and capitalise on potential trade opportunities in the region
    These technological tools will furnish information on trade rules, point out existing barriers to trade for MSMEs and identify areas for trade solutions. These tools will facilitate regional integration in trade and contribute towards West Africa easing into the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). As the AfCFTA remains a leading priority for the continent as a flagship project of the African Union Agenda 2063.



  • In collaboration with

    Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)


    A Project Funded by the European Union


  • Contact

    Aissatou Diallo
    Senior Coordinator, AfCFTA and LDCs
    Email: diallo@intracen.org
    Tel: +41-22 730 0284

    Yared Befecadu
    Programme Manager (WACOMP Regional, WACOMP Sierra Leone and WACOMP Guinea)
    Email: befecadu@intracen.org
    Tel: +41-22 730 0434

    Thomas Bechmann
    Programme Manager (WACOMP Senegal)
    Email : bechmann@intracen.org
    Tel : +41-22-730 0293