2009 Congressional Budget Justification
USADF provides expansion capital and management, marketing, and technical assistance to African-owned small- and medium-sized businesses to help them develop new products, expand their production, and compete in the global marketplace. The goal of this activity is to generate new jobs and increased incomes for economically marginalized groups and communities.
For the past several years, the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) has been piloting some exciting investments that promote new export trade and investment (T&I) opportunities for small-scale African enterprises. The focus of these efforts is to identify and promote non-traditional export crops and existing small-scale manufacturers or processors and to help these enterprises improve production and productivity and successfully move their products into regional and international markets. The African Growth and Opportunity Act of 2000 (AGOA) specifically recognized the important role of USADF in helping to integrate small-scale producers at the grassroots level into the global economy.
USADF has on-going T&I programs in Uganda, Tanzania, Namibia and Ghana, focused on assisting small-scale producers to grow, process and export a variety of primary commodities, including paprika, vanilla, silk, nile perch, rock lobster, leather products, fruit juices, sea salt, and table grapes. In addition, the Foundation is currently launching new T&I programs in Zambia and Cape Verde, and later this year will initiate programs in Nigeria also.
USADF has conducted rigorous financial analyses and market surveys as part of the design and approval process, similar to what a venture capital firm would undertake to fund an activity. The Foundation also developed and tested models for transferring technology to small producers. Those highly successful endeavors proved that African farmers could diversify into new commodities and that their produce could meet international standards and capture foreign markets. Based on that experience, USADF is significantly expanding and diversifying its T&I investments.
USADF helps small-scale producers take advantage of new opportunities by focusing on:
1. Enabling small- and medium-sized processors and manufacturers to enter or expand export production through expanding access to capital, technology and markets;
2. Assisting small-scale producers to establish new export marketing mechanisms to achieve economies of scale necessary to compete in regional and world markets;
3. Helping producers meet the quantity and quality specifications of export buyers; and
4. Where needed, assisting companies and their small-scale suppliers to advocate changes in government policies that impede their development; and
5. Promotion of non-traditional crops for small-scale farmers.
By successfully stimulating grassroots trade and investment, ADF is demonstrating how small African enterprises can successfully compete in the global economy.