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Developing value chains in West Africa to take advantage of the AfCFTA

20 June, 2023
Developing value chains in West Africa to take advantage of the AfCFTA

Dakar, Senegal, 20 June 2023 – The Government of Senegal, through the Ministry of Trade, of Consumer and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, have launched the Expert work Group Meeting in Dakar on Tuesday for examining the Report of the Study on “The Opportunities of Regional Value Chains in West Africa in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area  (AfCFTA )”.

This workshop, which is being held from June 20 to 21, is organized by the Sub-Regional Office for West Africa of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA/SRO-WA), in collaboration with the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

It aims at:

- examining and improving the draft report of the study on the main value chain opportunities in West Africa;

- informing and mobilizing the involved actors, namely the private sector and their umbrella structures at regional level in the project to develop value chains in West Africa in the context of the AfCFTA ;

- agreeing on a sub-regional roadmap for the implementation of the recommendations of the study and particularly the development of value chains in West Africa, in line with ECOWAS initiatives in this area.

In his opening remark, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Trade, of Consumer and Small and Medium Enterprises of Senegal, Mr. Makhtar Lakh explained that "Axis 1 of the Senegal Emerging Plan targets, among other things, a successful insertion into global value chains".

The Director of ECA/SRO-WA, Ngone Diop affirmed that the multifaceted crises such as the Covid19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and  the climate crisis have slowed down or even annihilated the development efforts of the countries in the West African sub-region as shown by the deceleration of economic growth estimated to an average of -2% in 2020, compared to 3.4% in 2019”.

“In response to these worrisome trends, the positioning of West African economies in value chains, through tariff and non-tariff disarmament, should be an integral part of a more comprehensive approach to the integration of production and trade sectors in the AfCFTA,” explained Ngone Diop.

However, continued the Director of BSR-WA/CEA, “It is necessary to identify and prioritize regional value chains capable of positioning the region as a production and a preferred trade center, competitive within the “single African market”.

The representative of the UNDP Regional Office, Mr. Stephane Amani highlighted that "the development of value chains will have an impact on the acceleration of the Sustainable Development goals such as poverty reduction, hunger reduction, job creation ……”.

The Representative of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Christian Kafando stated that “As part of the AfCFTA , it is important to focus on regional value chains by building on the comparative and competitive advantages of member states of regional economic communities, such as ECOWAS. »

In this regard, said Christian Kafando, “the promotion of regional value chains means that we examine the contributions of the key elements of these regional value chains on the basis of the potentialities of our Member States and their ability to create value at national and regional levels”.

Representatives of regional and national private sector organizations, ministries in charge of trade, industrialization, SMEs/SMIs, agriculture, various national and regional trade committees (AfCFTA, trade facilitation , etc. ), regional organizations (ECOWAS, UEMOA, AfCFTA Secretariat , etc.), and United Nations organizations such as ECA, UNDP, UNCTAD, ICC, UNIDO are participating in this meeting.

For more information, please contact: Tahirou Gouro, Communication Officer, CEA-BSR/AO Email:



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