Connexus is supporting USAID’s West Africa Trade and Investment Hub (WATIH) by providing the long-term Public Private Partnership (PPP) Director, as part of Creative Associates’ consortium. Based in Dakar, the PPP Director is catalyzing private sector investment in the region by working with leading buyers, processors, and producers to demonstrate the commercial viability of West African farmers and firms. By linking small West African farmers and firms to regional processors and international buyers, WATIH is building the capability of local suppliers to meet international standards, expand their production, and thus achieve greater incomes, especially related to agricultural value chain opportunities, including in horticulture, cashew, cocoa, shea, livestock, and cereals. In addition, WATIH is identifying other high potential export opportunities in the agribusiness sector as well as light manufacturing (such as apparel) and supporting services (packing and labeling, logistics, etc.). Through these interventions, Connexus is supporting the creation of thousands of new direct jobs from targeted staple foods and value-added sectors.
By the end of FY23Q1, Connexus has helped the WATIH project generate a pipeline of 92 viable co-investment projects totaling more than $83.5M in co-investment grants for USAID consideration, including identifying firms that needed urgent assistance to shore up their businesses due to losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Trade Hub co-investments are underway in 23 value chains in 14 countries across West Africa, including in apparel, cashew, palm oil, soy, grains, fruits and vegetables, cacao, garment manufacturing, and agro-processing, among others.
Approved grants have engaged 388,000 participants to date, including 37% women and 44% youth. The Trade Hub has also generated $116M in exports. WATIH grants have leveraged more than $270M in agricultural and non-agricultural financing from the private sector and $277M in private sector co-investments over the life of activity of the grant portfolio. To date, these activities have generated more than $116M in exports in agriculture, manufactured goods, energy, and services from the partner firms and have led to the creation of 49,000 sustainable jobs.