On September 20th 2022, West Africa Connect (WAC) brought industry representatives from the mango, cassava and ICT service sectors together in a hybrid format from Accra, Ghana. 

With financial support from the European Union (EU), the event will connect more than 160 suppliers from 16 West African countries with more than 20 buyers from West Africa and other regions.

The event (West Africa Connect 2022) commenced yesterday as a hybrid event on the 20th and to the 21st of September in Accra, Ghana and online aimed at providing linkages between mango, Cassava and ICT value chain actors, establishing new and durable business partnership and increase commercial transactions, therefore ensuring the sustainability of the regional value chain in West Africa. 

The event is open to many international visitors.

During the event, West African suppliers showcased their products and attendees can also learn about a valuable solution the West African ICT services sector offer. 

Mr. Ruben Phoolchund, International Trade Centre Chief Officer for Africa said mango and cassava are very important Agri sectors; hence there is an urgent need to develop Mango and Cassava sectors to give the great potential for value addition and export in the wake of global food shortages and supply.

According to him, out of 302 million tons of Cassava globally in 2020, more than half was produced in Africa.

On the African continent, 52% of the total cassava is carried out in West Africa, with Nigeria alone accounting for 23.4% of global production.

Additionally, in the mango sector, although a significant part of production is not Marketed, the ECOWAS region led as the 7th mango exporting origin worldwide with 90,000 tons exported in 2019, and the market share of global trade rose to 5.1% in 2020.

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Noting that, west Africa also provided a vibrant ecosystem for the development of the ICT sector. The region has both benefited and contributed to the significant growth witnessed in the digital space in the past decade.”

The region has experienced up to 45 per cent additional share of the population using the Internet between 2010 to 2019 with an estimated increase in bandwidth of up 368Tbps (terabit per second) by 2023.

Dr Asiedu Hawkins, technical advisor to the Minister of Trade and Industry said, the government of Ghana has launched a series of innovative policies to promote the mango and cassava sector to expand the economy.

He urged SMEs to embrace these policies to expand their productivity in order to meet the International standard.

The opening event welcomed high-level representatives from the ECOWAS Commission, the UEMOA Commission and the ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organisation (TPO) Network.

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