The West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP) is a partnership initiative between  the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the European Union (EU). It has a bearing on regional economic integration and highlights a commitment to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and West Africa. WACOMP is funded through a EUR 120 million contribution from the Regional Indicative Programme (RIP) for West Africa (2014– 2020) under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF).

The main economic challenges in West Africa include competitiveness of enterprises and the need for better value-chain integration at regional and national levels in order to scale up sustainable structural transformation.

The overall objective of the programme is to strengthen the competitiveness of West Africa and to enhance the countries’ integration into the regional and international trading system, including the newly established African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The WACOMP embraces the vision of the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III) and is also aligned to UNIDO’s mandate of fostering Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID).

The action will be carried out in the ECOWAS member states (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinee Conakry, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo) and in Mauritania, through national components in each country, as well as a regional one. For each country, priority value chains have been identified and the type of activities selected involves a combination of long and short term technical assistance, training, coaching, equipment and studies. The country components will be implemented by selected specialized agencies or through national
execution while the regional component will be led by the ECOWAS Commission with the technical assistance of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the International Trade Centre (ITC).


Specific Objective 1

Improve the performance, growth and contribution to industry, regional trade and exports of selected Value Chains

Country level

Competitiveness at firms level is improved, especially through the Cluster’s approach.• Intermediate organisations of the selected VC’s are strenghtened and service delivery to SMEs is improved and expanded
(quality standards, new green solutions, market access, etc..).

Regional level

• Better regional linkages among selected VCs actors are promoted and key regional intermediary organisations are supported. 

• Regional quality infrastructure system is strengthened, with a view to promote environmental issue.

Specific Objective 2

Improve the climate for business at national and regional levels

Country level

Regional policies in favour of competitiveness are mainstreamed in the country and help enable a business-friendly environment.

Regional level

• The regional policy and framework to improve competitiveness are harmonised, formulated and monitored. 

• The capacity of the ECOWAS and UEMOA Commissions and Member States to successfully manage, coordinate and monitor the programme is strenghtened.


This program is funded by the European Union with the technical support of UNIDO, the implementing Agency

The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Commision of the European Union