Investing in a local community through shea butter production and export


Bringing economic expertise from abroad to boost women’s livelihoods in Côte d’Ivoire.

When Eric N’Guetta moved back to his home country of Côte d’Ivoire, he knew he wanted to use his experience to make a difference. After studying finance in Paris and spending ten years working in major European finance hubs like Luxembourg and Monaco, the young Ivorian realized he wanted to help people in his own country.

“I decided to return to Côte d’Ivoire – not to Abidjan, but to remote places where there is nothing – and start a new life as an entrepreneur,” N’Guetta said.

He created Bio Amandes, a company that produces and processes shea butter by supporting local woman producers. With support from the USAID West Africa Trade & Investment Hub, Bio Amandes was able to build a 2,500 million ton-a-year refinery sourcing from 1,801 woman collectors of shea nuts. Bio Amandes is just one example of how private sector investment in West Africa is boosting livelihoods for local women.

Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade Hub) is a five-year (2019–2024) program that improves private sector productivity and competitiveness through market-based approaches.

The program partners with U.S. and West African private sector firms to generate new private sector investment in key industries as a way to create jobs and increase trade within and between West African countries, and with the United States through greater utilization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

It is an integral part of and contributor to the U.S. Government’s Prosper Africa initiative, which is supported by USAID Missions across West Africa.


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