Press releases

Building investment partnerships in ECOWAS and COMESA regions

8 junio 2023
ITC News

The International Trade Centre (ITC), a United Nations agency, partners with COMESA and ECOWAS Commissions for better and more trade and investment opportunities between West Africa and East/Southern Africa.

(Lusaka, Zambia) – 06/06/2023 – The International Trade Centre (ITC), in collaboration with the COMESA Business Council and the COMESA Regional Investment Authority, are promoting trade and investment between the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) regions.

As part of the West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP), funded by the European Union and implemented by ITC in close collaboration with the ECOWAS Commission, a joint networking event manifested investment opportunities in targeted sectors and value chains, while fostering stronger partnerships between the two regions.

The event, including investment promotion agencies from the ECOWAS region and regional business associations, served as a knowledge-exchange platform, with delegates expressing their commitment to working together to enhance cooperation and forge mutually beneficial partnerships between the ECOWAS and COMESA business communities. The same West Africa delegation will attend the COMESA Business Forum on 7 June 2023.

The presence of key stakeholders, including the COMESA Business Council and the COMESA Regional Investment Agency, underscored the dedication to fostering economic growth and development in both regions.


‘In the face of increased competition to attract international businesses, West African countries arguably have a strong card to play. To the extent that investors are well aware of all of these positive developments, international businesses ready to settle in the region will undoubtedly enjoy great returns, while being part of a collective journey towards greater economic and social vibrancy and the emergence of a dominant economic player in Africa and beyond.’

Akadiri Aminou, CEO, Federation of West Africa Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FEWACCI)

“It is expected that at the end of the forum, there will be better knowledge and increased awareness among business actors from the COMESA region of the investment opportunities in the ECOWAS and also we expect the establishment of linkages and connections that will lay the groundwork/facilitate potential investment partnerships between relevant ECOWAS region actors and COMESA investors.”

Dickson Poloji, on behalf of Eddy Yagambaram Soobramanien, CEO, COMESA Business Council (CBC)

‘Businesses are the drivers of sustainable economic development, not just between these two regional blocs, but across Africa as a whole. Through this stronger partnership between the ECOWAS and COMESA business communities, we are going to see trade-led growth led by small businesses – and we at ITC look forward to continuing to support these efforts.’

Dorothy Tembo, Deputy Executive Director, International Trade Centre


About the West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP)

WACOMP is financed by the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund. The programme aims to strengthen the competitiveness of West African countries and enhance their integration into the regional and international trading system. The overall objective of the Programme is “to strengthen the competitiveness of West Africa through an enhanced level of production, transformation and export capacities of the private sector in line with regional and national industrial and SME strategies”. The project is implemented by the International Trade Centre.