The West Africa Competitiveness and Quality Infrastructure Project (WACQIP) is implemented under the framework of the West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP) and aims to stimulate the competitiveness of SMEs in the 16 project countries through value chain development and an enhanced level of production, transformation and export capacities of the private sector.

The project focuses on supporting quality along value chains at both national and regional levels in the following sectors: (i) cassava and its derivatives, (ii) mango, (iii) textiles & garments, as well as (iv) information, communication and technology (ICT) as a horizontal value chain. The project will promote transformation, better access to regional and international markets, and will consider social and environmental perspectives. It will cover the preparation of the regional policy framework for the development of the value chains within the ECOWAS regional industrial strategy aiming at stimulating industrialization and job creation in the region.

The project fosters synergies between the regional component and national projects under the WACOMP that target selected national and regional value chains. These are especially important synergies as the value chains’ meeting quality requirements is key to a company’s competitiveness and success of the project. Furthermore, it will promote linkages between private sector operators and organizations involved in the selected value chains to strengthen competitiveness and to optimize quality infrastructure. The project aims to improve the regional business environment as well as contribute towards regional industrial strategy goals, including: (i) increasing the rate of local raw material processing from the current average of 15-20%, to 30%, (ii) increasing the contribution of manufacturing industries to GDP from the present average of 6-7% to over 20%, (iii) increasing intra-community trade in West Africa from less than 12% to 40%, with a 50% share of the region’s trade in manufactured products, (iv) increasing the volume of manufactured exports in West Africa to the world market from 0.1% to 1

This program is funded by the European Union with the technical support of UNIDO, the implementing Agency

The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Commision of the European Union