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Women and Trade Networks in West Africa

image of Women and Trade Networks in West Africa

Women make a significant contribution to West Africa's food economy, perpetuating a long tradition of commerce and participating in cross-border trade and regional outreach. Their activities face numerous obstacles but also present important opportunities, highlighted in this report through an unprecedented relational and spatial analysis of social networks. The study focuses on the rice sector in the Dendi region (Benin, Niger and Nigeria) and on the regional governance networks that support women's entrepreneurship. It confirms that Nigeria occupies a privileged position due to its demographics and growing urbanisation. The report proposes the development of innovative public policies based on the reinforcement of the social capital of women and policy approaches that promote better integration of the initiatives undertaken by governments, international and non-governmental organisations to empower women and strengthen their resilience.

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Foreword

Women occupy a central place in African societies and economies, and they should also be central to the public policies and strategies of development partners. There are abundant arguments in favour of this focus substantiated by scientific literature and case studies. The Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC/ OECD) Secretariat proposes a comprehensive and singular perspective on the activities of women traders through their networks.

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