NEWS & EVENTS
TFWA Program Rolls Out SSCBT Interviews for Alternative Credit Scoring
Traders’ associations across Nigeria and Senegal were interviewed to better proﬁle Small-Scale-Cross-Border Traders (SSBCTs) and to better understanding the alternative data they generate to access ﬁnancial products and services. These interviews—initially piloted in two countries and conducted via a consulting ﬁrm—are part of the second phase of the TFWA Program’s credit-scoring study launched to improve SSCBT access to ﬁnance through tailored credit scoring mechanisms.
SSCBTs still face signiﬁcant challenges in accessing capital for their businesses and often remain unbanked, unable to obtain credit scoring, and with low-to-no ﬁnancial inclusion opportunities. These factors conﬁrm the relevance of exploring alternative means of credit scoring and aim to create the foundational research needed to encourage micro-ﬁnance institutions to oﬀer ﬁnancial products to SSCBTs. To date, the consulting ﬁrm has held several consultations with local traders’ associations with the goal of contrasting data from previous mapping exercises with alternative data usage metrics.
Additional SSCBTs from Senegal and Nigeria will be interviewed and constituted in panels before the program produces a Credit Reporting Framework. Based on these interviews, a Regional Alternative Data Landscaping Report will also be published.
Dakar-Bamako logistics strategy presented
Following the inaugural meeting of the National Monitoring Committee (NAC) in February, The TFWA Program convened a workshop with Senegalese and Malian project partners to present the Dakar-Bamako Logistics Strategy. The strategy used a data-driven approach to reveal the underlying flow and pattern of goods along this important trade corridor. Additionally, the strategy outlined how infrastructure could be developed to support and improve trade flow. In fact, previous TFWA Program diagnostics, such as the Corridor Assessment Report and the Small-Scale Cross-Border Trader Survey, had highlighted how longer transit times along corridors greatly affect trade facilitation and economic opportunities.
Aware of the key regional and national issues at stake with improved infrastructure, both Mali and Senegal were receptive to the TFWA Program’s presentation and findings. As a result, these markets could explore reopening discussions on the location of the dry port. This strategy, if jointly applied, could enable more targeted and cohesive infrastructural planning and reforms—progress in line with the TFWA Program’s second component, which stives to promote the efficient and improved movement of goods along selected corridors.
Bilateral Meeting Brings Together Key Stakeholders from Mali and Senegal
From February 17 to 20, the TFWA Program hosted a successful bilateral meeting between IT experts from Senegalese and Malian customs to advance activities required for the Interconnection of their IT systems (SIGMAT-GAINDE). Held in Dakar, representatives from the Senegal and Mali Management Committee of the Dakar-Bamako Corridor participated in the four-day session, as did Senegal’s Customs Director General. Representatives from the Chambers of Commerce from both Mali and Senegal were also invited to attend, though only one representative from Mali came to the meetings.
Both customs IT teams have been proactively supporting implementation, using a chronogram of activities to guide their work. During the meeting, attendees discussed these activities in an effort to advance the interconnection agenda. The meeting also provided an opportunity to show that GIZ and the World Bank are working jointly to implement this project.
Looking forward, GIZ and the World Bank will continue to work together to ensure proper support under the TFWA Program umbrella. As next steps, based on their chronograms, customs in both countries need to provide formation, communication, and sensitization efforts to field staff. Per the current situation, the customs agencies are trying to deliver these efforts virtually. Additionally, GIZ is responsible for delivering the equipment required in support of this effort.
Dakar-Bamako Corridor Project Action Plan Moves Forward with TFWA Program Support
On February 7, the first meeting of the National Monitoring Committee for the ‘Improving the Competitiveness of the Dakar-Bamako Corridor Project’—a project that falls within the framework of the TFWA Program—took place. The meeting focused on reviewing and validating the joint committee's plan of action while also planning priority activities arising from the plan.
A number of influential stakeholders attended the meeting, including representatives from the Ministry of Investment Promotion Private, Small and Medium Enterprises, and National Entrepreneurship. The meeting provided an opportunity for attendees to outline deadlines for each activity to be implemented. As a result of this meeting, some of the activities listed in the work plan were reformulated, paving a clear path for implementation. Additionally, meeting participants agreed to insert a new activity—relating to the ECOWAS brown map—into the work plan. Meeting attendees agreed that the TFWA Program team would serve as the plan’s next reviewer, with a view to inserting activities from its Dakar-Bamako corridor action plan.