We won a new project in West Africa: Mid-term Strategic Evaluation of the West Africa Trade Facilitation Programme (TFWA). TFWA is a multi-actor program with the objective to improve the free and efficient movement of goods in the region and internationally through the reduction of time and cost of trade borne by the private sector in West Africa, and by strengthening the ability of regional trading networks to take advantage of these improvements. Specifically, the program aims to achieve this by: (i) improving the existing trade facilitation measures in West Africa and implementing them more efficiently; (ii) improving the movement of goods along selected corridors; and (iii) reducing barriers for small-scale traders, including women.

The main objectives of this mid-term evaluation that will be carried out by the TiEG team of experts are to provide ECOWAS and WAEMU, the organizations overseeing the programme, the relevant services of the European Union, BMZ, the Netherland (MFA), USAID, interested stakeholders, and the wider public with:

  • An overall independent assessment of the past performance of the West Africa Trade Facilitation Programme (TFWA), paying particular attention to its ‘intermediate’ and ‘long-term’ results measured against its expected objectives; and the reasons underpinning such results.
  • Key lessons learned, conclusions and related recommendations in order to improve current and future interventions.
  • An overview of the key actors or factors that are driving and hindering progress in i) implementing the key activities and ii) in achieving key objectives and results.

In addition, the specific objective for this evaluation are:

  • To assess for any problem which should be solved and for learning purposes, in particular with respect to the implementation modalities and to the new governance structure established for this programme;
  • To feed into the next EU joint programming exercise (2021-2027) in identifying priorities and initiatives that can be better addressed at the national, regional and continental levels;
  • To assess the positioning of EU and her development partners in West Africa in terms of design, implementation, results and impact and responsiveness to trade and trade facilitation in West Africa.

The implementation of the project starts in November 2021 and the evaluation will be completed in March 2022.