Development partners, regional economic communities and governments in the West Africa sub region have renewed their commitment to supporting Borderless Alliance in its quest to rid the sub region of trade barriers.
At the 5th Annual Borderless Conference, held in Cotonou, Benin, May 18 – 20, 2016 development partners commended the Alliance for organizing the conference and for its continued efforts and collaboration to remove trade barriers in West Africa. In addition to the private sector, regional economic communities and government officials, development partners present at the conference include: the USAID, GIZ, the World Bank Group, the African Development Bank, JICA and the European Union.
Mr. Todd R. Whatley, Deputy Chief of Mission and Representative of the USA Government, indicated one of the pillars of President Obama’s Strategy for Sub Saharan Africa lies in economic growth, trade and investment in African countries. That, he explained, was the reason for the American Government’s support for Borderless Alliance and other activities aimed at increasing trade in West Africa. “We are honored to support all efforts in the region aimed at reducing non-tariff barriers to trade which increase costs and slows down the movement of goods in the region,” he said.
His Excellency Mr. Josep Coll, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union in Benin, said West Africa and the European Union signed the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in June 2014 to increase the region’s participation in world’s value chains and to promote regional integration. In that regard, he said the Borderless initiative was a true illustration of public private partnership. Representatives of other development partners and regional economic communities also expressed their continued involvement in the fight against the existence of trade barriers in the sub region.