“West Africa Connect”: a platform to promote Mango, Cassava and ICT value chains

After a successful edition in 2021, “West Africa Connect” was back with a second regional B2B networking event that took place on September 20 and 21, 2022 in Accra, Ghana (hybrid format). This year, the event was attended by more than 100 mango, cassava and ICT SMEs from the region, over 20 regional and international buyers, 25 high-level speakers and many other institutions.

Approximately 150 B2B meetings have been successfully conducted during the two-day event, both on-site and virtually through a sophisticated digital matchmaking platform. It is now expected that these interactions will lead to the establishment of new and durable business partnerships, increased commercial transactions between mango, cassava and ICT actors, and the identification of potential investors to ensure the inclusive and sustainable development of these priority value chains.

In addition, rich panels were filled with insightful content on several topics, including export opportunities and challenges, the strategic role of new technologies to develop competitive, inclusive and sustainable agribusiness value chains in the region, quality standards and requirements to connect with regional and international value chains, investment opportunities as well as gender and youth inclusion.

Kolawole Sofola, Acting Director of Trade at the ECOWAS Commission, indicated that “by connecting suppliers from the region with buyers both inside and outside the region, this event promotes access to market opportunities and linkages with global value chains. These local firms have untapped potential ant this event allows them to demonstrate the quality of their products and services which will lead to profitable business partnerships”.

“West Africa Connect” is implemented as part of the West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP), which is funded by the European Union, led by the ECOWAS Commission in collaboration with the UEMOA Commission, and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) at the regional level.

For further information contact Rafik Feki (r.feki [at] unido.org (r[dot]feki[at]unido[dot]org))