Vroegindewey March 2009

Name: Ryan Vroegindewey
Post: Nikki
Pick-up Location: Parakou

Brief Project Description:

This project would pay for the conference registration fee for the President of UGKAP, a Shea Producers Association based in Parakou. The Association produces Shea Butter and Shea-based cosmetics, is looking to export, and would benefit greatly from the following conference activities: networking with potential international buyers, sessions presenting the latest info on international markets and the local industry, and exchanges with other producer groups sharing similar goals and characteristics. The conference is put on by the West African Trade Hub, and takes place in Ouagadougou from March 25 28. The Shea Association will cover the participants travel, accommodations, and per diem expenses.

Dates of Project: March 23 March 30
Number of People Involved: One female participant, representing 12 Shea Producing womens groups

Item Number Cost
Registration Fee – Shea Conference 1 50.000 CFA
Total Cost 50.000 CFA

Amount Requested: 50.000 CFA


GAD Coordinator: I think that the representative of the Shea Producers Groups would benefit immensely by participating in this conference, and I recommend funding. Ryan still has an open GAD Small Project for the construction of a small building to lock up the pump for his womens garden group, but he has told me that the project is nearly finished. The last time he was in Parakou he said that he would submit the closing report and send it via taxi or bring it the next time he was in Parakou (he did not have receipts with him at the time). Generally Ryan is pretty good about submitting detailed closing reports before starting new projects, and this particular proposal is time sensitive, so I recommend funding even if we do not have the closing report from the last project, but let me know if you disagree.

GAD Finance: Recommend Funding. I am glad we are approving coverage of these expenses.

Closing Report

Brief Project Description: Took the president of a shea butter producers’ association to an international shea butter conference in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Over the course of 3 days sessions and exchanges were held on the shea market, industry, and other applicable topics.

Number of People Involved and Age Range: One shea association president, representing 12 Parakou/Tcharou groups and over 500 women producer members.

What were the goals/objectives of this project? To gain information on the sector, contacts, and ideas/models of how other women’s associations operate.

Were those goals/objectives met? Yes.

What were the strengths of this project?
1. Gave women actionable information and contacts on which they can make business decisions on their own.
2. Exposed women to the “business world” that shea represents, helping to further coax out “development” or “aid” mentalities that hinder development and autonomy.
3. Women’s association completed project costs by funding travel, food, and lodging.

What were the challenges/weaknesses of this project? Perhaps could have prepared work partner better regarding marketing material and strategies to bring to the conference.

Do you consider this project completed? Yes


Item Number Cost
Registration for the Conference 1 47,500 CFA
Registration for third day site visits 1 2,500 CFA*
Total 50,000 CFA

*Note: Women’s association completed the remaining 11,000 CFA necessary for the site visits.

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