This study conducted by PDF with support from FCDO (formerly DFID) shows that women who engaged in cross border trade contribute to food security by trading food products from areas of surplus to areas of deficit. The paper reveals that depending on how this trade is organized, these women have the potential to contribute significantly to household earnings and resources. This empowers women by giving them financial independence and control of their own resources.
Women and Cross Border Trade
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With the global COVID-19 pandemic came the need for local manufacturers to step up to the challenge and produce face masks, face shields, and PPEs due to dwindling supplies caused by high demand the world over. The support provided by government agencies to these entrepreneurs was critical, this in turn was derived from the technical advice supplied by the PDF Bridge programme under the Trade Policy Workstream through dialogues, studies, and roundtable events. The workstream focuses on non-oil exports by bringing underrepresented voices into economic policy and strengthening the participation of exporter groups in trade. The workstream engaged with representatives of Abia State Government during its dialogues particularly with the Director-General of the Abia State Marketing and Quality Management Agency (ASMQMA). This engagement led to increased capacity and redirection of strategy for the Aba Textile cluster in the production and distribution of finished goods. With help from the State Government’s agency on quality and standardization, Abia State Marketing and Quality Management Agency (ASMQMA), tailors generated an estimated $4-5million for the Nigerian economy from Abia State alone from the production of PPEs. This created a 110% increase in tailoring personnel.
Aba Industrial City is an aggregation of thousands of MSMEs and mass producers of industrial goods including garment and leather products. If properly harnessed, the mass production capacities of component clusters of AIC and similar models are capable of positioning Nigeria at a competitive advantage in the global garment and leather industrial space. In 2016, the Textile, Apparel, and Footwear sector contributed N2 trillion ($6.6 billion), approximately 2% of Nigeria’s total GDP, to Nigeria’s economy.
PDF II held a two-day capacity building training themed: “Capacity Building for Banks and DFIs”. This is designed to explore access to finance challenges, awareness campaigns, and opportunities that non-oil exporters face with banks in accessing finance. The capacity building covered topics such as Export Industry Regulations and Documentations, payment methods and trade finance instruments, Handling export finance options, managing export risks, understanding the franchising potential etc.
Analysis of Potentials of Nigeria’s Services Sector for Economic Diversification, Employment, and Foreign Trade
Africa’s contribution to global trade in services is little with slow growth despite rapid globalisation and liberalisation. The continent’s intra – African trade in services is also relatively little. Nigeria’s services sector contribution to its GDP is huge, representing 55.8 per cent in 2017. It recorded a growth rate of 1.83percent in 2018. Hence, the services sector possesses the immense potential to promote diversification, employment, and growth, even without a current holistic services sector policy. This study specifically mapped and profiled key services sectors; reviewed domestic regulations relating to services; estimated the current and future potentials for export, and provided associated recommendations.
Against a backdrop of falling oil prices, the Nigerian government has woken up to its economic vulnerability to oil-related disruptions. This underscores the need for diversification to non-oil exports. PDF Bridge supported the drive towards growing non-oil export by supporting under-represented non-oil exporters through three strands of work: strengthening Nigeria’s ability to trade beyond its borders through the Network of Practicing Non-Oil Exporters of Nigeria (NPNEN), an export mentorship programme, which links experienced exporters with new and growing export businesses; and training sessions for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) intending to export non-oil goods were held on; Market Entry Strategies, Understanding export documentation, Raising Finance for Export, Branding, and packaging for export. In addition, Roundtables were held on;
- Addressing Barriers to Access to Foreign Markets – An analysis of Spices & Herbs, Textiles & Garments, and Leather Products;
- Analysis and Impact of Export Expansion Grant on Export Potential, Market Access and Export Competitiveness in Nigeria;
- Improving Market Access through Digital Trade and;
- Analysis of Potentials of Nigeria’s Services Sector for Economic Diversification, Employment and Foreign Trade;
- Diversification and Non-oil Export Opportunities for Nigeria States Post-COVID19 Study