In order to take advantage of the under-exploited export potential, several organizations have sprung up in West African countries. Their goal is to make the most out of the exportable offer while meeting the needs and standards of the international market. In this article, we will focus on the export promotion organizations in Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria, and Senegal, which are the three economic leaders of the subregion.
In Côte d'Ivoire, the government quickly realized the importance of promoting exports. The Export Promotion Agency (APEX-CI) was thus created in 1996 in partnership with the World Bank to be the key tool for export promotion. As such, APEX-CI took charge of promoting the label “made inCôte d'Ivoire” abroad. In 2014, in order to support APEX-CI’s mission and enable the implementation of Côte d'Ivoire's National Export Strategy, which was developed in partnership with the International Trade Center (ITC), the government created the National Export Council (CTE). But this duality is a double-edged sword. Indeed, these two organizations sometimes tread on each other’s toes because their respective fields of action are not clearly delimited. A project to create a single structure responsible for promoting exports named “Côte d'Ivoire Export” has therefore been in the works since 2016.
On the other hand, in Senegal, export promotion is more centralized. The Senegalese Export Promotion Agency (ASEPEX) is the main body responsible for this mission. ASEPEX's overall mission is to promote the continuous and sustainable development of Senegalese exports. The expected results of its activities and services are, among others, the creation of a diversified, competitive, and attractive exportable offer for the target export markets, improvement of foreign trade statistics and the export environment, and increased integration of Senegal into the regional and international economy.
In Nigeria, the economic giant of West Africa, the main body is the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC). NEPC is the Federal Government of the country’s apex institution and is responsible for the development, diversification, and promotion of exports. Over the years, it has worked to achieve its mandate by coordinating promotion activities and export development in Nigeria while taking the lead in various national export programs and interacting with international trade agencies on capacity building and cooperation.
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