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Bi-Best Project Steering Commitee Meet in Monrovia

On October 21, 2022, Mano River Union Secretariat launched the “Building Inclusive Business Ecosystems for Stabilization and Transformation in the Mano River Union” (BI-BEST in MRU) Project designed to empower women traders in cross-border value chains for resilient growth and social cohesion. The project is funded by the African Development Bank and will be implemented over the next 3 years across the subregion.

Over the last few months, Mano River Union has recruited consultants to constitute the project implementing unit. Steering Committee for the project met in Liberia for the first time on February 28, 2023.

The project team provided updates on project activities and received feedback from committee members from Liberia and Sierra Leone. The committee agreed on a list of recommendations to be implemented in the course of the project life cycle. As part of the deliveries under this project, International Labour Organization (ILO) has been contracted to conduct a value chain analysis and select the sectors that should be supported.

Under the report submitted, ILO recommends Gari/Cassava and Palm Oil. However, due to viability and potential, vegetables sector has been included in the list. A study is presently being conducted to understand the dynamics within these sectors in order to enable the project to determine the scope of support and the quality of intervention that will make a difference for women operating microenterprises doing cross-border trades within this sector.

The project currently works toward implementing all the issues identified and recommendations proffered by the steering committee in order to enhance the smooth and efficient delivery of the project. MRU is extremely grateful to the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) for their tremendous support throughout the implementation. MRU continues to highly treasure this partnership.

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