- African Growth and Opportunity Act
TRALAC - Trade Law Centre
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Packaging in West Africa - A resource guide (Tradehub)

Naji Choueiri and Micah Frumkin
WA Tradehub
Publication Date
14 December 2007

Most small and medium-sized African businesses have difficulty sourcing affordable quality packaging for their products. Few packaging suppliers exist within the region and even fewer have the ability to create packaging that meets international standards and satisfies consumer preferences. Many African producers therefore turn to Europe and North America for packaging supplies, which significantly increases operating costs. In spite of the lack of quality packaging supplies in West Africa compared to Europe and North America, some sources do exist within the region; it is simply a matter of identifying them.

It is in this context that the West Africa Trade Hub developed this resource guide for packaging in West Africa. The guide’s main objective is to offer practical suggestions on packaging and help food industry operators access information about packaging that will support the growth of their businesses. A case study is included that applies these suggestions and demonstrates the utility of this guide.

The guide begins with an overview of the demand for packaging in West Africa and reviews different types of packaging, examining their relative advantages and disadvantages. The guide highlights the importance of good packaging, which can significantly influence sales of the finished product. High quality packaging is defined not only by its visual appearance, but also by the choice of words and graphics on labels as well as its compliance with local and international standards for marketing the product on store shelves. Finally, the guide offers a list of firms in the region that manufacture cardboard and plastic packaging. Manufacturer information details are presented for each country. 

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