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Food Across Borders: Improving Food Security Through Regional Trade in West Africa
Accra, Ghana, 29-31 January 2013

Hosted by the Economic Organization for West Africa States (ECOWAS) with technical and financial support from USAID’s Agribusiness and Trade Promotion project, this conference brought together more than 250 of the region’s stakeholders—ministers, government officials, regional organizations, business associations, regional trade companies, farmer associations, financial institutions, and development partners—to develop an agenda for improving West Africa’s food security through regional trade in staple commodities, leading to benefits for millions of West Africans.

The speakers and panelists—including government ministers, private firms, regional and international industry representatives, and donor organizations—discussed the latest findings and data on regional trade in major staple commodities, including estimates showing informal trade to be far in excess of official statistics. Attendees joined working groups to hash out solutions to five major obstacles to trade, such as shakedowns of cargo truckers, national export restrictions, and irregular acceptance of food safety certificates between countries. During breaks, participants browsed a business fair showcasing firms and organizations involved in West Africa’s regional agricultural trade.

Read the official proceedings.

Click here for the full participant list.

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Watch a pre-conference interview with ECOWAS and USAID about regional trade's role in food security.