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.
This event report summarises a dialogue to discuss women’s participation in Nigeria’s economic growth and address challenges to their empowerment.
Trade Associations play a role in promoting appropriate policies, regulations, and necessary reforms relating to their sector of operations. They create opportunities for networking and consultations among industry players as well as being a voice when it comes to new regulations and legislations while encouraging best practices among its members. According to Peter Gomersall, trade associations exist to support their members and further their interests, to defend them when they are under threats and to promote a common position on issues affecting the environment in which they operate.
Given the foregoing, the PDF Bridge Trade Policy Workstream organised a two-day capacity-building session targeted at strengthening the leadership of non-oil export-related trade associations and improve on their business strategy to position them to take advantage of the opportunities in the non-oil export value chain. The sessions had in attendance delegates from government agencies such as FMITI, NAQS, FMARD, NOTN, CBN as well as executives of trade group drawn from various industries including agricultural commodities farmers, agricultural commodities exchange and aggregators, industrialists, agro-processors, women, and youth development groups, textile and apparel among other participants.
The study ‘Diversification and Non-Oil Export Opportunities for Nigerian States Post-COVID-19’ was commissioned by the NEPC through the Policy Development Facility (PDF) Bridge Programme for use by the public and private sector stakeholders. Ernst & Young conducted a market analysis on six prioritised products from the Zero Oil Initiative and provided strategic recommendations.
PDF Bridge has now developed a policy brief for stakeholders to highlight the key issues and recommendations. The full study can be accessed here.
The Trade Policy Work Stream conducted a needs assessment to get direct feedback from export-oriented MSMEs, export-supporting government institutions, and export business service providers to ascertain the capacity gaps. The top 5 challenges highlighted by the respondents include lack of market linkages, lack of finance, lack of market intelligence, limited knowledge of destination country requirements, and Export documentation.
In response to their needs, TRD workstream designed a targeted capacity building for the non-oil export community of practice to address the knowledge and skill gaps through a 4-part Export Capacity Building (CB) Series. The following topics were covered in this sequence:
- Market Entry strategies (with case studies: Europe (EU), US, China)
- Raising Finance for Your Export Business
- Understanding Export Documentation
- Branding and Packaging for export