Women play a key role in West Africa’s food economy. Yet, the functioning of their trade networks is still relatively unknown. To better understand how women do business in the region and what obstacles they face, the OECD Sahel and West Africa Club asked us to map the network that connects the actors involved in the production, transport or sale of locally-produced rice between Benin, Niger and Nigeria.
Our data were collected in the Dendi border region by our colleagues Dr. Lawali Dambo, Dr. Moustapha Koné and their team at the University of Niamey. It took more than three months to interview 800 producers, traders and wholesalers in three countries. Two more months were needed to structure the data and produce what is probably one of the largest supply chain networks ever mapped in West Africa! In the next few months, we’ll analyze the data in order to highlight gender disparities and border effects.