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ECOWAS and the International Trade Centre launch US$3.2 billion West African Competitiveness Observatory

The Observatory is designed to unlock economic growth in West Africa, where over US$3.2 billion in intraregional export potential remains untapped.

With the launch of the West African Competitiveness Observatory, policymakers and businesses in West Africa now have a powerful new tool to enhance their trade competitiveness.

This online platform, developed by the ECOWAS Commission, West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP), and the International Trade Centre (ITC) with financial support from the European Union (EU), was unveiled at a high-level event in Abuja on Tuesday (21 May).

The Observatory is designed to unlock economic growth in West Africa, where over US$3.2 billion in intraregional export potential remains untapped. It is a critical resource for assessing trade competitiveness and identifying new regional business opportunities.

The platform features three modules: the Trade Competitiveness Module, the Regional Value Chain Module, and the Business Matchmaking Module.

These tools enable comprehensive monitoring of trade competitiveness, integration of regional value chains, and facilitation of cross-border business collaborations.

The Observatory supports sectors such as apparel and textiles, beauty and wellness products, infant food preparations, processed fish and crustaceans, and processed fruits, vegetables, and roots.

Madame Massandjé Toure-Litse, Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture at the ECOWAS Commission, emphasized the Observatory’s potential to help Small and midsize enterprises(SMEs) access international markets, generate employment, and contribute to economic growth.

ITC Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton echoed this sentiment, encouraging businesses to leverage the platform to explore new markets and find buyers.

The launch marks a significant step in positioning West Africa as a hub of economic growth and opportunity. By 2027, it can potentially add US$45.7 billion in exports to the global market.

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