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 91 viable co-investment projects totaling more than $81.5M 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 led to the creation of 44,287 jobs, with 318,299 participants supported to date, including 49% women and 34% youth. The Trade Hub has also generated $93.4M in exports. WATIH grants have leveraged more than $226.9M in agricultural and non-agricultural financing from the private sector and are expected to leverage a total of $400M in private sector investments over the life of activity of the grant portfolio. Ultimately, these activities will represent more than $300M in exports in agriculture, manufactured goods, energy, and services from the partner firms and will lead to the creation of 60,000 sustainable jobs.