USAID - Evaluation of Trade Hubs in Africa


Audience

USAID Africa Bureau, Regional and bi-lateral missions (Africa), Trade Hubs, and Government Officials.


Key Results & Outcomes

The Trade Hub Programs advanced the policy objectives of AGOA; Hubs area taking major steps to facilitate intra-regional trade; Cross-cutting activities should focus on few critical activities due to resource constraints; USAID should develop an overall bilateral/regional mission strategy for each region; Strengthening Regional Economic Communities is necessary to implement regional programs; Develop common platform to share knowledge; Robust communication strategy among hubs and government agencies lacking.

To make the transition from the $70 million Trade for African Development and Enterprise (TRADE) Initiative to the new Presidential Initiative – the $200 million African Global Competitiveness Initiative (AGCI), USAID engaged Global Business Solutions, Inc. (GBSI) to evaluate the Trade Hubs in Accra, Ghana; Gaborone, Botswana; and Nairobi, Kenya to guide USAID’s Africa Bureau in the planning and implementation of the AGCI. The main objectives were to 1) Develop an information base of lessons learned for AGCI implementation and 2) Analyze how well the activities funded under the TRADE Initiative advanced the policy objectives of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) legislation.

• Employed SWOT analysis to determine program successes, limitations, opportunities for improvements and ways to avoid duplication of effort, share best practices, and replicate successful programs.

• Analyzed workplans, reports, budgets, staff expertise, and other data to see progress against established metrics and Performance Work Statements (PWS).

• Conducted key informant interviews with stakeholders including US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Commerce, US Trade Representative (USTR), staff at USAID bilateral and regional missions, local entrepreneurs, local and national governments, embassies, other donor agencies, etc. to gather pertinent details and data.

• Developed surveys in both English and French to gauge satisfaction of clients and hub partners alike, perception of hub offerings and opportunities for improvement. Also employed focus groups.

• Recommended curtailing some programs due to budget and personnel constraints and developing a platform for knowledge sharing to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort.