|Belgian Development Agency accompanies East African producers on the road to the market|
|13 February 2013|
Trade for Development Centre (TDC), a program of the Belgian development agency, has engaged with COFTA (now WFTO Africa) to improve market access for handicraft producers in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. These producers, often from rural communities, lack the commercial and technical capacities, which impedes their access to national and international markets. WFTO Africa through its respective country initiatives, UGAFAT in Uganda and RWAFAT in Rwanda, is rolling out activities, financed by TDC, to change this situation.
In Uganda and Rwanda producers are being trained in techniques of commercialization as well as product design. Participation at national, regional and international trade fairs further enhances the craftsmen’s abilities to market their products. The projects also include the strengthening of UGAFAT’s and RWAFAT’s capacities as to assure that they continue to deliver services to their members over time. In Burundi, WFTO Africa supports the establishment of a national network organization comparable to RWAFAT that will bring together social productive initiatives in Burundi, support them and put them on the road to fair trade by having them become members of WFTO Africa and later of the WFTO global.
Activities in support of fair trade in developing countries often function as a lever. Through these projects WFTO Africa wants to develop the technical, commercial and organizational competencies of craftspeople leading to better living conditions for all members of the rural communities they belong to.
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Steven De Craen