Over $62m earmarked to promote export trade

•    WATH promote regional trade to fight poverty, create wealth and jobs.

• WATH promote regional trade to fight poverty, create wealth and jobs.

The West Africa Trade Hub (WATH), as part of an aggressive drive to boost export trade in the sub-region, has targeted to invest over US$62.5 million in value chain projects within the next three years.

Out of this figure, US$25 million would be given out as loans to about 102 businesses.

Jean Francois Guay, Finance and Investment Specialist of the Trade Hub and African Partners Network, who announced this in Kumasi said there was also a technical assistance and training support package for another 120 selected micro, small and medium enterprises to strengthen their operations.

He was speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of access to finance workshop held in Kumasi.

It brought together farmers and business operators in the agricultural value chain and business advisory service providers to discuss ways of attracting financial support to grow their business activities.

The Trade Hub, a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project, focuses on building the capacity of West African farmers and businesses in targeted regional and global value chain in areas of rice, maize, millet/sorghum, cattle and small ruminants’ production and trade.

It works in close collaboration with a network of private sector partners and public institutions including Trade and Agriculture Ministries, ECOWAS and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Resource Centres across the sub-region.

Mr. Guay said the project remained a major strategic partner in the effort to build sustainable businesses and promote regional trade to fight poverty, create wealth and jobs.

“That was why it was providing cash and technical assistance to help enterprises to boost the economies of countries in the sub-region,” he added.

He said the project again was eager to see the right business environment emerge by addressing transport constraints and trade barriers affecting the efficiency of the region’s road corridors and borders.

Mr. Guay called for businesses in the agricultural sector, particularly the small and medium ones, to take advantage of the opportunities made available by the Trade Hub to access technical assistance and credit to expand their operations.

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