Developing Products & Markets

Two chemists in a laboratory

Many African countries are working hard to increase product quality, but it is often the trade-related issues that prevent producers breaking into international markets.

For example, failure to meet SPS standards in food safety, animal health and plant health creates an immediate barrier to market.

AfTra funds projects designed to develop products to an international standard and open markets to global trading, while helping Africa’s producers to capture more of the value chain at home. Around 30% of AfTra’s available fund is apportioned to this focus area.

Training, building capacity and sharing the benefits


We support training, the provision of market intelligence services and provide financial support for important standards-related infrastructure development – such as testing laboratories and quality control systems.  

We also focus on building capacity for industry value chains. Specifically, we work in areas like agro-processing, forest based industries, textiles and clothing, fisheries, leather and leather products, and processing of medicinal plants, where many African countries can build competitive advantages. 

We also look for projects that are inclusive, particularly around gender. Women comprise between 60% and 90% of the workforce in many export sectors, but are less likely to benefits from trade liberalization and growth. We pay special attention to the potential benefit to women in prioritizing our interventions. 

Focused on outcomes


Our support in this area is focused on projects with the greatest potential to deliver outcomes such as:

  • Increased capacity of agricultural producers, in particular women, to meet international standards
  • Increased availability of infrastructure and services for agricultural traders, such as testing facilities and market intelligence services
  • Improved ability of traders in non-agricultural sectors to meet standards and certification requirements of global markets

Supported by

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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