• Export Impact for Good
select country
  • PACT II aims to diversify and expand exports within and outside Africa contributing to sustainable economic and social development in the continent.

    The programme provides a holistic capacity building strategy to regional trade development revolving around the following four outcome areas:

    1 - Pan African partnerships and networking

    2 - Leadership of RECs for regional trade development and promotion

    3 - Regional trade support networks and policy dialogue

    4 - Sector and enterprise competitiveness with special focus on women exporters

    triangle_blue PACT II Logical Framework
    triangle_blue ACCESS! for African Businesswomen in International Trade     


    1 - Pan African partnerships and networking for regional trade development and promotion and exports for good in Africa


    PACT II seeks to build South-South cooperation linkages between the three Regional Economic Communities (RECs) – COMESA, ECCAS, ECOWAS. The programme revolves around a strategic partnership between these integration bodies and regional private sector and trade support institution (TSI) networks, developing priorities and frameworks for joint action that lead to increased exports. By fostering a better understanding of export markets, the programme aims to open the way for African businesses to seize vital opportunities.

    PACT II builds on strategic partnership between ITC, as executing agency, and selected regional economic communities, as main counterpart organizations:

     COMESA logoThe Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)


     ECOWAS logoThe Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

     ECCAS logoThe Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)

    PACT II seeks to build South-South cooperation linkages between the three Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in terms of exchange of information and best practices as regards regional trade development and promotion. Through inter-REC consultations, collaborative linkages are promoted at Pan-African level, in the interest of maximizing the use and rollout of African trade development expertise across the continent.

    Furthermore, strategic market development activities outside the African continent, in as much as they are relevant for the three regions concerned, are pursued jointly, specifically in respect to the creation of linkages with emerging economies. Networking aimed at promoting trade and investment with major sourcing and destination markets are further facilitated through support to the organization of African Business Forum.

    OUTPUT 1.1 - Inter-REC exchange on intra and inter-regional TDP activated

    COMESA ECOWAS sign pact

    In the context of PACT II, ITC has organized a series of inter-REC meetings with a view of facilitating the exchange of experiences and lessons learned in regional TDP initiatives.

    A mission of the ECOWAS Commission to the COMESA Secretariat in Lusaka, Zambia, took place in in November 2009 with PACT II technical and operational support. Following this mission, the two RECs concluded an agreement in Addis Ababa to enhance private sector development and advance regional economic integration towards attaining the African Economic Community (AEC).

    Issues of potential mutual interest for inter-REC exchange have been identified, which included public-private dialogue facilitation, regional private sector apex bodies strengthening, sharing of lessons learned and best practices related to private sector development including women in business, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and regional business councils, develop common regional strategies and programmes.

    In April 2010, COMESA, ECOWAS, and ECCAS representatives further exchanged views and identified opportunities for cooperation and synergies with other programmes at the inter-REC meeting in Libreville.

    In the framework of PACT II, ITC contributed to the organization of an African Private Sector Forum on the theme “Creating new business opportunities in the aftermath of the global economic and financial crisis”. The Forum took place in Kampala, Uganda in July 2010. The event resulted in the identification of priority actions for implementation by the private sector, governments, RECs and the African Union (AU) and in an increased engagement of these stakeholders to implement the Aid for Trade agenda jointly with African businesses. The Forum will contribute to support inter-REC initiatives for TDP in Africa.

    OUTPUT 1.2 - African Business Forum sponsored and promoted as Pan-African platform for public-private dialogue and business partnerships building  

    Funded by CIDA, African Private Sector Forum (APSF) was organized alongside the PACT II framework. It covered a number of thematic and sectoral issues related to the development of African regional and global business partnerships: trade and investment promotion, infrastructure, business partnerships in agribusiness and agro-industry, trade finance in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

    At the outcome of the event, priority actions (such as the establishment of an African Business Council based on sub-regional structures) were regrouped in a Final Declaration for implementation by the private sector, governments, RECs and AU.

    Partnership between the AUC and ITC was reinforced and the engagement of the RECs, governments and global partners to implement the A4T agenda and address pan-African private sector development issues increased. Participant key partner institutions agreed upon a framework for institutionalizing the APSF and a proposal for a roadmap.

    The 2010 African Private Sector Forum Declaration is available here.

    2 - REC Secretariats take the lead for sustainable and inclusive regional trade development and promotion (TDP), as trusted and visible broker

    Outcome 2

    The Programme aims at enabling the REC Secretariats to develop and deepen in-house capabilities to initiate and coordinate TDP initiatives on a sustainable basis. To ensure that TDP are anchored in an organisational structure that is conducive to such initiatives, a trade focused institutional assessment has been undertaken of each of the RECs, reviewing the current structure and staffing, assessing training needs, as basis for an appropriate organizational structure in charge of TDP programmes.

    It is increasingly recognized that the implementation of Africa‘s regional integration agendas requires appropriate institutional capacities to guide and support the economic operators at enterprise level, within a common regional framework. Accordingly, regional TDP has become a critical priority of all RECs, next to their traditional trade policy functions. The linkage between policy and regulatory efforts on the one hand, and trade development and enterprise support, on the other, requires however an institutional middle field of private and public service providers, which is often missing or ineffective.

    The key challenge is to upgrade and network these institutions, to enable them to effectively develop the necessary supply response at sector and enterprise levels, by promoting complementarities along the regional value chains, upgrading product quality and design, promoting compliance with standards, improving marketing skills, and facilitating export linkages.

    OUTPUT 2.1 - Appropriate REC TDP structure with key technical and operational capacities agreed upon, and its management in place

    ITC has carried out in close cooperation with the beneficiary RECs, three regional trainings (2009 and 2010) aiming at transferring Result-based management (RBM) tools and methodologies to the Staff RECS as well as to Staff from the national/regional Trade Support Institutions (TSI) involved in PACT II implementation. A RBM Guide and Toolkit has also been published.

    Output 2.1 picture

    COMESA and ITC held a RBM Training Workshop in Lusaka, Zambia, in November 2009. The purpose of the training was to expose participants to RBM by developing a result framework for COMESA programmes, and understanding and applying the Logical Framework Approach.

    COMESA has, for the first time in its history, developed its Medium Term Strategic Plan (MTSP) together with the beneficiaries of its programmes, during National Consultative Workshops held in various countries between May and June 2010, with the technical support of the PACT II programme and financial support of the World Bank.

    These national consultations have contributed to improve communication flows between the COMESA Secretariat and Member States, while strengthening the Secretariat’s visibility and lead role within the region.

    In 2010, a total of 48 African experts from TSIs and staff of Regional Economic Communities were trained in RBM to manage and implement their trade-related development programmes.

    OUTPUT 2.2 - RECs staff and resource persons applying market analysis tools and methods for the prioritization of sectors and destination markets, with due consideration to poverty reduction, gender mainstreaming and environment impact

    As part of PACT II, and using ITC tools and methodologies pertaining to trade data collection and trade flow analysis, training cum coaching has been undertaken to carry out REC specific export potential assessments, resulting in sector/subsector/product and target market prioritization.

    ITC ran a mentoring programme on export potential assessment in partnership with COMESA, ECCAS and ECOWAS during which 43 African experts from the three regions were trained and coached to use trade analysis tools and methodologies.

    Staff of the RECs and national TSIs learned to use market analysis tools and methods to prioritise products and markets for national and regional export promotion, with consideration to poverty reduction, women and the environment. Capacity-building activities involved studying trade statistics and other performance indicators as well as research on export competitiveness through consultations with companies.

    As a result, participants improved their market analysis skills and learned how to use tools and methodologies for assessing export potential. They also identified priority sectors for regional trade promotion on the basis of indicators such as export performance, enterprises’ assessment, conditions of access to international markets, production capacity, trends in world markets and impact on job creation, employment of women, poverty reduction and rural development.

    ECCAS Publishes its First Trade Statistic Yearbook

      Annuaire Statistique du Commerce des Etats de l'Afrique Centrale 2009

    Statistics in general and on international trade in particular are essential for guiding economic decisions. Developing economies need clear and accurate information about their performance with business partners to enable policymakers to better identify promising sectors and countries to be considered when creating, monitoring and evaluating regional TDP programmes.

    In past years, not all ECCAS nations provided export and import data, meaning analyses of intra-ECCAS trade were scarce, based primarily on statistics provided by trade partners. That has changed thanks in part to ITC training and mentoring on statistical and market analysis provided through PACT II. The ECCAS Secretariat now leads a regional collection of trade data in its 10 Member States in partnership with each country’s customs administration.

    ECCAS Launches its ExPECT Initiative and Expert Network

    ECOWAS took a significant step towards establishing a sustainable regional capacity for trade development and promotion in West Africa with the launch of its “Export Promotion and Enterprise Competitiveness for Trade” (ExPECT) initiative.

    ExPECT interventions involve sectoral value chains with high potential for the region which were identified with PACT II support, namely: mango, cashew nuts, palm oil, shea nut, sesame and rice.

    PACT II has also worked with ECOWAS to create a platform of capacities required to fortify regional trade. ECOWAS-TEN, a network of public and private sector trade experts representing all 15 member countries, is designed to promote and develop exports in West Africa under EXPECT as a means of encouraging economic and social development.

    ECOWAS-TEN has become a credible network in West Africa to provide trade-related support to ECOWAS institutions and enterprises.

    OUTPUT 2.3 - RECs lead a participatory process for the formulation of strategy framework for sustainable and inclusive regional trade development in one priority sector/product group

    Based on the findings under output 2.2, workshops have been conducted aimed at engaging the REC stakeholders in discussions and decisions on regional strategic priorities for sector development based on a value chain approach, covering regional, sub-regional and national dimensions. This involved joint review of sector/sub-sector/product performance, trade opportunities and problems, culminating in actions plans, identification of TRTA needs and of potential implementation partners. For each REC the formulation of one such regional sector-focused strategy cum action plan has been supported, following a participatory approach.

    Regional Mango Value Chain Strategy for West Africa Validated and Lessons Learned from South-South Cooperation with Brazil

    Document d'Orientation Stratégique Mangue

    Strengthening export competitiveness of enterprises operating in the agricultural sector is essential as it applies to the main sector of employment, business and trade in ECOWAS, with strong involvement of women. It also contributes to food security, which is a major concern for the region as a whole. ITC’s support to ExPECT initiative with PACT II focuses on the regional mango value chain.

    The intensive training on market analysis organized by ITC to build up the training capacity of ECOWAS-TEN expert networks has resulted in the publication of six reports potential briefs:

    These briefs present statistical analyses enabling the evaluation of export performances of a particular product from the ECOWAS regional perspective. Thus, they contribute to the development of a regional export strategy.

    The Strategic Orientation Paper for the mango value chain in Western Africa (in French) was developed with the support of PACT II and approved by all 15 ECOWAS member countries during a regional workshop held in Togo in 2011.

    This paper recommends three main orientations for building production capacities and exports in the sector, with particular consideration of the role and impact on women: expand regional consumption, increase product processing and conservation, and enhance their adaptation to import market requirements.

    West African mango producers went to Brazil in November 2011 for a study tour organized by ECOWAS-TEN and ITC. Brazil was identified as an ideal destination since the mango value chain is highly developed in the country and ECOWAS had recently signed a cooperation agreement with Brazil for South-South investments in agricultural value chains.

    As a result, entrepreneurs established new business contacts within their industry with research agencies, local trade support institutions and the private sector, and learned from the Brazilian mango cluster experience.

    Creation of a Regional Consultative Framework on Coffee Value Chain for Exchanging Experiences within the ECCAS Region and Fostering Regional Collaboration

    Picture for Regional Consultative Framework on Coffee

    PACT II has supported the ECCAS Secretariat in promoting the regional coffee sector by increasing knowledge on high potential and value added coffee sectorial approach. As the primary product grown across the region and significantly involving women, PACT II raised awareness on the importance of the sector development for which regional cooperation is necessary to leverage benefit from a harmonized sectorial coffee strategy.

    In November 2010, a first regional participatory workshop was held for the coffee sector, which gathered 34 representatives of public and private sectors from 8 of the 10 ECCAS Member States (Yaoundé, Cameroon, November 2010).

    PACT II supported the development of the Strategic Orientation Paper for the coffee value chain in Central Africa (in French only) by adapting its export strategy development methodology and approach was adapted to ECCAS Secretariat’s needs.

    3 - Regional trade support networks, including businesswomen’s networks, engaged in regional trade policy dialogue and trade support

    Outcome 3

    PACT II seeks to strengthen relevant regional trade support networks to provide an effective interface between the RECs and the private sector in the regions, and thereby an outreach mechanism for regional trade promotion activities. Regional trade information systems are established to serve as platforms for trade information exchange between the regional and national levels.

    PACT II also focuses on the level of national and regional trade support institutions (TSIs), including public entities engaged in trade support services as well as representative private sector apex bodies, which are an integral part of the trade policy development process. These institutions needed to manage their internal operations, upgrade their operational capabilities to service their clients/members, develop and manage TDP programmes, and monitor their performance.

    OUTPUT 3.1 - Regional Trade Support Institutions (TSI) networks, including businesswomen’s networks, formalized and operationalized for participation in regional trade support and promotion

    In the framework of PACT II, a listing of selected key TSIs in each beneficiary region has been undertaken and completed.

    Identified TSIs are potential partners of ITC in its network capacity building efforts. It aims at being as comprehensive as possible, in including all the national and regional TSIs from the region.

    This study was based on a thorough survey of the various international databases, interviews with officers who have worked in the region, references by the TSIs in the region themselves and ITC records. The outcome of this exercise is the publication of three directories of TSIs – for COMESA, ECCAS, and ECOWAS.

    Following mapping of the REC-specific TSIs, capacity building has focused on fostering of TSI networking built around regional trade promotion objectives. This TSI network at the level of each REC provided an effective conduit for facilitating access to and training on relevant TDP tools, methodologies and services.

    PACT II has supported the new ECOWAS Regional trade competitiveness strategy

    With PACT II financial support, ITC has published one TSI directory per REC:


    ECOWAS has taken a significant step towards the establishment of a sustainable regional capacity for trade development and promotion in West Africa, with the launch of its “Export Promotion and Enterprise Competitiveness for Trade” (EXPECT) initiative, which provides a framework for activity programming and resource mobilization.

    Developed jointly by the Private Sector Directorate of the ECOWAS Commission and ITC, “EXPECT” is based on three pillars:

    • The Regional Trade Expert Network (ECOWAS/TEN), which is the technical and operational tool for the implementation of the various components of the initiative; 
    • The Export Actors Platform (EAP), instrument for public-private dialogue responsible for identifying and advocating the issues affecting trade towards ECOWAS decision-makers;
    • The Regional Centre for Export Competitiveness, a regional reference centre in charge of establishing partnerships and ensuring the sustainability of the programmes and activities implemented by the TEN and the EAP.

    The “EXPECT” initiative, for which ITC is a major partner through PACT II, fits within the ECOWAS strategic vision to strengthen regional integration and the emergence of competitive enterprises, able to generate sustainable value added and improvement in the livelihood of populations in West Africa.

    OUTPUT 3.2 - Regional private sector apex bodies strengthened as the primary and active interface for public private dialogue and partnerships at the regional level

    Special attention has been given to private sector apex bodies (including also gender-based ones) in each of the RECs, requiring strengthening in terms of organizational set-up, business planning, development of their positions on trade issues, in order to being able to engage in an effective public-private dialogue and in partnerships pertaining to regional trade development.

    In the context of PACT II implementation, two assessment reports with recommendations for RECs have been initiated, developed and published:

    The reports present the outcomes of a research on private sector and trade policy public-private dialogue in the ECCAS and ECOWAS regions. They formulate recommendations aiming at enhancing the representation and deepening the dialogue at the regional level. They represent the outcome of desk and field research and are to be disseminated to collect feedback from regional stakeholders, ITC and other donors.

    Strengthening the COMESA Business Council as the voice of the private sector in Eastern and Southern Africa

    Greater private sector participation in trade policy and negotiations is vital for enhancing Africa’s trade development and promotion capacity.

    Comesa Business Council

    In Eastern and Southern Africa, the COMESA Business Council (CBC) is to serve as a key platform for advocacy in the development, progress and strengthening of the private sector in member countries, as mandated by the COMESA Treaty.

    Technical expertise and resources have been provided by ITC and COMESA within the framework of the Programme for building African Capacity for Trade (PACT II) to strengthen the CBC as the primary interface for regional public-private dialogue.

    Following PACT II intervention, the 6th COMESA Business Forum and other private sector meetings on key issues for the business community in the region were organized under CBC leadership.

    The CBC also facilitated south-south cooperation between COMESA and other growing developing countries in Asia and the Arab States, with a view to promote trade and private sector development in Eastern and Southern Africa.

    First ECOWAS Export Actors Forum

    The first ECOWAS Export Actors Forum (EAF) took place in Cotonou, Benin, on 5-7 December 2011.

    Around the theme of "Impact of ECOWAS trade liberalization scheme on the development of regional agribusiness value chains", the Forum addressed the issue of SMEs’ competitiveness in agricultural value chains, which is a key concern to ensure food security and fight against poverty in West Africa.

    Based on research and studies previously conducted, especially within the framework of PACT II, participants adopted a series of concrete recommendations to support SME capacity development and competitiveness in regional and international markets.

    These included recommendations on the ECOWAS trade liberalisation scheme (ETLS) in the mango and palm oil value chains through two private sector’s position papers presented at the Forum.

    ECOWAS-TEN provides the Executive Secretariat of the Platform in order to monitor these recommendations.

    OUTPUT 3.3 - Regional trade law institutions - operating under OHADA (“Organisation pour l’Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires”) network - assisting enterprises understand the advantages and implications of regional trade rules and regulations

    Specific support has strengthened the service capacity of the organisation in charge of business law harmonization (OHADA) such as through the diffusion of practical guides, adapted to the countries, as well as workshops.

    Small businesses in Chad and Congo learn how to use regional trade law to boost their exports

    OHADA law helps harmonise business rules and regulations and provides strategic information to set up and expand businesses in national and regional markets. It facilitates the integration of enterprises in the formal economy and protects the rights of micro businesses.

    OHADA rules are however not constantly applied, at the expense of private sector and trade development. This is largely explained by the fact that SMEs, lawyers and judges, who enforce the law, have no or partial knowledge of these rules. The OHADA Secretariat has largely targeted its advocacy work at Ministries and legal experts rather than the private sector.

    These findings sparked a decision to devise a practical approach so SMEs can understand the advantages and implications of regional trade rules and regulation within the context of PACT II.

    More than 300 SMEs, traders, lawyers and jurists attended tailor-made training workshops in N’Djamena, Brazzaville and Pointe Noire as well as outside the main cities. The events involved plenary sessions and practical exercises. Participants gained skills and knowledge in regional trade law rules and regulations that will help them expand and empower their businesses.

    Based on lessons learnt from interventions in Chad and Congo, activities in Gabon and Central African Republic included training of national experts to ensure sustainability and a “multiplier effect”. Nine experts, in partnership with trade support institutions in these two countries, are now able to share information about the advantages and implications of regional trade rules and regulations which will benefit the private sector beyond PACT II.

    In the context of PACT II, and in line with the objective of creating awareness on trade law rules, practical manuals were produced covering topics such as business taxation, enterprise creation, mortgages and settlements of disputes for French-speaking entrepreneurs in Central Africa:

    • Guide juridique (OHADA) de l'entrepreneur au Tchad*
    • Guide juridique (OHADA) de l'entrepreneur au Gabon*

    Booklets of direct relevance to small businesses were also published:

    *Only available in French


    OUTPUT 3.4 - Regional trade information networks established and operational

    Given the lack of appropriate mechanisms for business information exchange at national and regional levels, as well as need for better access to and use of international market information sources, a REC-specific regional trade information system has been developed.

    It provides an information support to both the ECCAS Secretariat and TSI networks. Following an assessment of information needs on priority sectors/markets and analysis of constraints of local information providers, an action plan was prepared for developing the information network, linking national TSIs.

    After the establishment of the IT platform and content development, trade information managers have been trained and awareness enhancement seminars organized.

    In the ECOWAS region, consultations with key stakeholders including the ECOWAS-TEN resulted in a framework of understanding to align PACT II trade information capacity building efforts to creating and developing the trade information service capacity of the ECOWAS-TEN. PACT II has supported the development of a trade information service and networking capacity on priority product sectors (mango, cashew and palm oil) within the context of the “EXPECT” initiative.

    Launching of "RERINFOCOM", the first regional trade information network in ECCAS


    ECCAS signed on the 6 September 2011, together with the Chambers of Commerce of Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, and the Federation of enterprises from the Democratic Republic of Congo, a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize the creation of the first Regional Trade Information Network of ECCAS Member States.

    Called “RERINFOCOM” – Réseau regional d’information commercial – by stakeholders, this inter-institutional network provides easy access to trade information for enterprises and investors. It also helps to rationalize and increase efficiency of ECCAS Secretariat in the promotion of regional trade, in partnership with national trade support institutions.

    This joint effort became a reality with the creation of the regional Internet portal “RERINFOCOM” where enterprises are able to access, free of charge, key information for business development like trade statistics, enterprise profiles, market profiles and trade rules.

    The Internet portal is regularly updated, under the ECCAS Secretariat’s coordination, through an automatic system and by national partners, which benefit from training and mentoring activities to build their capacity in trade information management.

    Publication on trade information bulletins on cashew, mango, and palm oil for ECOWAS exporters

    PACT II has developed synergies with activities representing “low hanging fruits” that can help boost result delivery e.g. the production and capacity building on Market News Services (MNS) bulletins based on ITC expertise and positive feedback from ECOWAS after similar interventions.

    Under the Programme, ECOWAS-TEN capacity was strengthened to manage and provide business and trade information services in EXPECT priority value chains:

    • 11 ECOWAS-TEN experts from 8 countries trained in trade information analysis and on how to produce market news bulletins in priority value chains for governments, TSIs and enterprises. Capacity building workshop organized by ECOWAS-TEN Secretariat with ITC support in Accra, Ghana in November 2011.
    •  One of the experts from Senegal already used the skills and knowledge acquired independent of the programme to write an information bulletin on the mango sector for the Ministry of Trade to prepare their participation in the ECOWAS Export Actors Forum.

    A trade information system has been developed in order to address the ECOWAS region business community’s needs relating to export promotion, trade facilitation and development of priority commodities, knowledge of markets, business and partnership opportunities.

    In December 2011, ITC produced and published the first edition of trade information bulletins aiming at informing mango, cashew, and palm oil sectors stakeholders on regional and international markets developments. The series of publications address issues such as production levels evolution, trade and prices, quality standards, trade policies and trade regulations.

    A series of Trade Information Bulletins were produced for ECOWAS region exporters:


    4 - Cross-border business linkages and enterprise-level export success for good in priority sectors and markets

    Outcome 4

    The overall thrust of this programme includes the development of key support services within relevant TSIs in disciplines such as quality management, standards, exporter training and supply-chain management. TSIs subsequently support selected SMEs operating in the sectors to upgrade their business processes and export management skills, and thus improve their competitive position on regional and overseas markets.

    The PACT II Programme focuses on upgrading TSI capacities in areas identified as key bottlenecks for strengthening sector competitiveness along the regional and national value chains.

    OUTPUT 4.1 - Sector-specific product and market development services preparing SMEs for regional and international markets, in adherence with regional sector strategy framework

    PACT II has offered, to selected enterprises, direct, hands-on assistance in developing their export competitiveness in the area of management, enterprise strategy, product development, marketing, and transaction support. ITC contributed to the organization of awareness creation events on international market demand for specific lines of products including international environmental and social responsibility standards.

    Tailor-made support for SMEs in West Africa’s mango value chain

    In ECOWAS, not only did PACT II champion the design of a common regional vision to develop and upgrade the mango sector, but it also provided targeted services to SMEs to help them learn from and reach new markets, with a focus on emerging ones in the form of South-South cooperation.

    Following the mango sector study tour in Brazil in 2011, West African mango producers have increased their exports and lessons learned from south-south cooperation contributed to improve their competitiveness. SMEs improved their knowledge of international standards and production methods, initiated cross-border industrial and operational partnerships and established new business contacts within their industry with research agencies, local trade support institutions and the private sector.

    In addition, the PACT II Programme has supported the development of three customized national studies on the mango value chain. Those documents describes the particularities of the mango value chain in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, and Mali, particular challenges faced by SMEs, export requirements, regulations, transformed products, etc. The reports also included conclusions and recommendations on opportunities along the mango value chain, increasing productivity, and building capacities for reaching new potential markets.

    In 2012, three national sector surveys have been prepared for the mango value chain in the ECOWAS region:


    High potential coffee sector value chain for national and regional economies in Central Africa

    The coffee sector is one of the key high export potential sectors in the ECCAS region. In fact, there has been a longstanding tradition coffee regional production, as the Robusta coffee origins from Central Africa.

    The coffee sector offers huge employment opportunities, including in rural regions, for women and youth. Also, world demand is expected to rise significantly – up to 20% by 2020 – offering interesting opportunities for the region. According to experts, the coffee sector exports might generate 500 million USD per year for regional economy.

    In this context, PACT II has supported the development and published a brochure on the coffee value chain in Central Africa. It provides key market and trade information on the value chain, its importance for national and regional economies, pricing and quality standards.

    The Brochure entitled “Les Cafés d'Afrique Centrale” (in French only) is available here.

    Millions of new exports for leather enterprises and opportunities for investments in the sector

    ITC has assisted TSIs to perform supply capacity and demand analyses. For instance, seven supply and demand surveys on the leather industry in Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe were developed and produced.

    The PACT II Programme also provided direct counselling and advisory services to SMEs and/or clusters of micro-producers for product and market development for moving up the value chain, in partnership with TSIs.

    Small and medium size enterprises in Africa often lack information on market standards and requirements. It is the case of those operating along the leather value chain, which is one of the COMESA priority sectors for regional trade development.

    By participating in trade fairs, business tours and buyers-sellers meetings, entrepreneurs exchange experiences, learn from buyers and competitors how to upgrade their manufacturing capacity and boost their exports.

    The All African Leather Fair held in Addis Ababa in March 2011 was a unique opportunity for 10 SMEs from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe to face importers and to collect strategic information to improve their competitiveness.

    Supply and demand surveys on the leather industry: "Promoting international and intra-regional trade in leather"


    Out of the USD 31,000 invested by the PACT II programme in this activity, entrepreneurs estimated the amount of business generated at USD 2 million. It also allowed identifying specific gaps in African exporters’ offerings to fulfil importing markets’ requirements. These will be analysed to provide tailor-made support to SMEs under PACT II and beyond.

    Picture Output 4.1

    As a result of 573 one-to-one business meetings, enterprises reported USD 5 million worth of new firm export orders while USD 4.3 million are still under negotiation. Dealing directly with importers will enable African tanners to eliminate the intervention of middlemen (agents and traders) and increase their profit margins from 3% to 15%. Technology transfers to improve the quality of wet blue and finished leather, joint ventures and foreign direct investments are also under discussion.

    OUTPUT 4.2 - Gender-responsive business development services and market linkages for women exporters provided through ACCESS! network

    Picture Output 4.2

    Initiated under the first phase of Canadian-funded Programme for building African Capacity for Trade (PACT), ACCESS! for African Businesswomen in International Trade aims at promoting the economic empowerment of African businesswomen by addressing the particular constraints of businesswomen by means of enhancing their access to comprehensive package of trade support services. ACCESS! provides tailor-made business support services that are adapted to their needs: course materials, training of trainers for local ownership and replication, and business counselling.

    The Programme has been improving business support services for women entrepreneurs to increase their capacity to export with success on international and regional markets and to become successful exporters in 19 Sub-Saharan beneficiary countries.

    • More than 2,600 ACCESS! trained women enhanced their export competitiveness, found new business opportunities and partnerships;
    • ACCESS! helped women to realize their economic potential and thereby contributed to poverty reduction and improved standards of living;
    • As a result, 19 national trade African institutions (and 1 Tunisian TSI) are offering training, mentoring and counselling autonomously. Institutional ownership at the country level proved to be successful in encouraging institutions to advocate and find complementary sources of funding for replication;
    • More than 70 certified export trainers/experts providing their expertise & advisory services jointly following a “Train the Trainers” approach with embedded skills and competencies within the regions for enhanced sustainability.

    For more details on the ACCESS! Programme, please visit its dedicated website: http://www.womenexporters.com/

  • About PACT II
  • Programme Strategy
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  • Resources and Documents
  • PACT II in the news
  • Partners
  • COMESA - Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa
    ECCAS - Economic Community of Central African States
    ECOWAS - Economic Community of West African States