IOM and Government partners in Benin, Ghana and Togo work together to empower women in small-scale cross-border trade

National Steering Committee and IOM colleagues in Cotonou, Benin (photo: IOM Benin)

National Steering Committee and IOM colleagues in Cotonou, Benin (photo: IOM Benin)

Accra, Cotonou, Lomé – In April 2023, following the launch of the project “Empowering Women in Small-Scale Cross-Border Trade (SSCBT) Between Benin, Ghana and Togo”, Government and civil society partners in the three countries held their first National Steering Committee (NSC) meetings to kick off the work of the 24-month project.

Funded by the IOM Development Fund (IDF), the project aims to contribute towards strengthened community development in border areas, through creating an enabling environment for women involved in small-scall trade across borders. The border areas targeted are Aflao (Ghana) – Kojoviakope (Togo) and Sanvee Condji (Togo) – Hillacondji (Benin).

As one of the first actions of the projects, National Steering Committees (NSCs) were established in Benin, Ghana and Togo.

“The National Steering Committee will ensure the successful implementation of the project, which aligns with Ghana’s migration priorities in relation to the Global Compact for Migration and the Medium-Term National Development Policy Framework (2022-2025),” said Janet Mensah, Assistant Director IIA/Diaspora Affairs Unit at Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.

Across the three countries, the NSCs will enhance coordination and information sharing between IOM and relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs); ensure ownership and sustainability of the project outcomes; and assist in the identification and resolution of challenges associated with project implementation.

“The project is important as it will raise awareness among cross-border women traders about their rights and responsibilities, thereby enabling them to conduct their activities more effectively around the border area,” said Houéfa Bérénice Cyrillia Yebe, Executive Secretary of the Grand-Popo Municipality in Benin. “It is also an opportunity for them to benefit from sensitization on entrepreneurship and financial management, tailored to their needs.”

The NSCs are composed of relevant national stakeholders in Benin, Ghana and Togo. Going forward, a comprehensive and gender-sensitive analytic report on SSCBT will be conducted in the three countries.

Sedjom Ezin, Director of Competitiveness and Expert Promotion at the Ministry of Trade in Togo, said: “Researching into the situation of women involved in small-scale cross-border trade is crucial to better understand the current challenges and the way forward.”

For more information please contact:

In Benin: Kokouvi Messan Fabrice Bossou, Project Assistant, by phone at +229 5121 0798 or via email at

In Ghana: Ethan Way, IOM Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, by phone at +233 59 390 8460 or via email at

In Togo: Dibassiwena Adjayi, Project Assistant and Gender Focal Point, by phone +228 7059 8293 or via email at