NACCIMA Advocates For Improvement In Cross-Border Trade In West Africa 

the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) in collaboration with LA International Cooperation, organized a Capacity Building Needs Assessment (CBNA) Validation Workshop at the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) BEST Centre.
The validation workshop was part of activities of the Trade Facilitation West Africa (TFWA) Program, which is an initiative driven by multiple international development partners (i.e., USAID, the Netherlands, EU and BMZ) to improve trade facilitation in West Africa.
The Program is managed by the World Bank Group and the German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ), with strategic oversight and guidance provided by a Steering Committee that is chaired by the ECOWAS Commission and supported by the UEMOA Commission as deputy chair. The program was developed to tackle the issues facing Cross-border trade in West Africa and is made up of three main components; improved and more efficiently implemented trade facilitation measures; more efficient movement of goods along selected corridors; and reduced barriers for small-scale traders and emphasis on improving conditions for women traders.
The Capacity Building Needs Assessment (CBNA) Validation Workshop was attended by representatives of stakeholder trade associations, such as, the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Nigerian Association of Small-Scale Industrialists (NASSI),
 Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT), West Africa Association for Cross Border Trade in Agro-Forestry (WACTAF), and Women Farmers, Processors, Transporters and Traders Association in Nigeria (WFPTTAN). The objective of the workshop was to validate the findings of a CBNA survey which assessed the capacity building needs of stakeholder trade associations in terms of their capacity to impart knowledge and to support Small-Scale Cross-Border Traders; helping them to overcome the problems and difficulties identified.
Participants of the workshop validated the survey findings, which showed that Financial Management; Product Standardization; Commercial Information; Fundraising or Financing; Packaging; Transportation; Development of Business Plan; Prospecting and Market Research; Sales Coaching; Negotiations and Signing of Business Contracts; Direct Intervention in Control Posts, and Commercial Litigation, were priority needs of their Associations’ members and areas where capacity building is required.
 Participants also noted that Infrastructure (the provision of shared facilities, one-stop shops and equipment or the creation of Special Economic Zones), improved knowledge on Export and Import processes and procedures, Certifications for export trade, Data management for members, and Logistics, would go a long way to improve the lot of small-scale cross-border traders by improving their competitiveness.
At the end of the workshop, participants recommended that more publicity activities be carried out to ensure that the activities of the Trade Facilitation West Africa (TFWA) program are constantly in the public eye, especially, the component on reducing barriers for small-scale traders and emphasis on improving conditions for women traders; and that intensive sensitization on the processes and procedures of cross-border trade be carried out, as many cross-border traders are still largely unaware of these processes.

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