The Global Shea Alliance and the United States’ Agency for International Development (USAID) signed in June a $13 million, five-year agreement to promote shea markets worldwide and improve sustainable production in Africa. Under this Global Development Alliance, at least 40 warehouses will be constructed in Nigeria and 40 women’s groups will be formed and trained to manage those warehouses for shea collection and processing.
“The shea industry is changing and companies, governments, and donors are investing more in sustainable production and improving the benefit to 16 million women collectors and processors,” says Moumouni Konate, President of the Global Shea Alliance.
“The goal of this critical partnership is to help women collectors and processors organise into cooperatives, obtain equipment and training, and improve the financial benefit from the sale of their products. Stronger and more profitable women’s groups will process more shea, improve quality, and protect the trees.”
During the Global Shea Alliance’s annual conference in Accra, Ghana, USAID/West Africa Mission Director Alex Deprez said, “We know well the benefits of increased trade for rural communities across Africa. The Global Shea Alliance is pioneering efforts to grow markets and improve the livelihoods of rural women and their families that stand at the base of the shea value chain. We are proud to partner in these activities.”
The partnership will match up to $6.5 million in USAID funds with $6.5 million in private sector funding raised by the Global Shea Alliance to implement promotional and sustainability activities in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, and Nigeria.