ECOWAS and ITC launch West Africa Competitiveness Observatory – Ghana Business News

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Policymakers and businesses in West Africa now have an online tool to track their countries’ trade competitiveness and find new business opportunities in the sub-region, with the launch of the West African Competitiveness Observatory.

The ECOWAS Commission and the International Trade Centre (ITC), with financial support of the European Union (EU), launched the online platform at a high-level event on Monday to ensure economic growth across West Africa, where more than half of intra-regional export potential- valued at $3.2 billion – remains untapped.

According to ITC release shared with the Ghana News Agency, West Africa’s exports are more competitive within the region than on the rest of the continent or on global markets.

The Observatory offers three modules that enable policymakers to monitor and analyze trade competitiveness at both national and regional levels.

Businesses can use the platform to identify business opportunities and engage with buyers and suppliers across markets in the region.

The release said the Trade Competitiveness Module enables comprehensive monitoring and analysis of countries’ trade competitiveness, presenting data on at the global, continental and regional levels.

The Regional Value Chain Module enables policymakers and businesses to assess and integrate regional value chains, providing insights into five key sectors: apparel and textiles; beauty, wellness and personal care products; food preparations for infant use; processed fish and crustacean products; processed fruits, vegetables, and roots.

The Business Matchmaking Module facilitates cross-border collaboration by promoting products and services and will allow them to connect with partners across the region, aided by automatic translation in English, French and Portuguese.

Massandjé Toure-Litse, Commissioner, Economic Affairs and Agriculture, ECOWAS Commission, said: “The Observatory will provide access to important information for policymakers and businesses to take advantage of international markets.” 

“Supporting small businesses to effectively access markets will generate employment and contribute to economic growth.”

The ITC Executive Director, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, was quoted as saying that: “Policymakers and businesses use the Observatory for insights into your region’s great untapped trade potential and turn that potential into tangible economic benefits.”

“We hope to see businesses, especially small businesses, make the most of this tool to find buyers and enter new markets.”

The launch of the Observatory comes at a time when West Africa navigates the challenges posed by globalisation, technological advancement and an evolving trade landscape.

With its three modules, it aims to position West Africa as a hub of economic growth and opportunities on the global stage.

According to ITC’s export potential estimates, West Africa could add $45.7 billion in exports to the world by 2027.

Source: GNA

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