Spring 2021

Malian waste company Macrowaste obtained loans through impact investors. The Trade Hub will support SMEs in similar situations.

Left: WACOT Rice Ltd.’s plant in Kebbi state, Nigeria, provides employment and state-of-the-art rice processing. Above: Habiba Suleiman walks in the plant’s extensive rice storage facility.

a region where only 20 percent of the workforce hold a formal job. “The shift from sourcing to manufacturing for us is really about being able to scale more quickly, enabling faster job creation,” says Paloma Schackert, Co-Founder and COO at Ethical Apparel Africa. This joint project was made possible through a co-investment grant by the West Africa Trade and Investment Hub. Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Trade Hub is part of a broader effort to foster economic growth inWest Africa and is one of USAID’s largest economic growth projects. The Trade Hub lever- ages funds froma consortiumof U.S. government sources to boost interna- tional and African private investment in key sectors. >>

In the Eastern Region of Ghana, work- ers sew fabrics into healthcare scrubs and uniforms for U.S. suppliers. These men and women are the start of what a “model factory” can look like in West Africa — one that is cost-competitive, human-centered and changing manu- facturing paradigms. “We believe [West Africa] is the next frontier for the garment industry,” says Keren Pybus, CEO and Co-founder for the clothing sourcing company Ethical Apparel Africa. To respond to projected shifts in the $3 trillion apparel industry, Ethical Apparel Africa is investing in its Ghanaian partner Maagrace Garment Industries Ltd. to upgrade Maagrace’s factory, integrate innovative new prac- tices and rapidly ramp up production. The venture will create 800 new jobs in

Photos by Rasheed Photography for WACOT Rice Ltd. (top right)

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