Artisan Connect

AfricaNow! Draft strategy paper – Building an african craft sector industry alliance

Date : 2011-03-04 09:56:17

Description D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance Transitioning To An International Alliance Model T he Alliance Overview The West Africa Trade Hub uses a market-driven approach to increase exports from the region—helping to make West Africa a 21st century competitor in world markets. The Trade Hub provides direct assistance to hundreds of companies in six value chains. That work is complemented by teams tackling problems in transportation, telecommunications, access to finance and business environment; infrastructure challenges that continue to make it difficult for West African companies to compete. AfricaNow!, part of a Trade Hub market linkages program for the home décor and gift sector, was launched in January 2009 as an innovative collaboration to bring African companies making contemporary décor and accessories to international markets. This model was created as a way for export-ready production companies that were unable to transact business with international buyers because of lack of resources as well as logistical constraints, to benefit from the market linkages programs. After 18 months of experience, it was decided to expand the scope of the initial model. The business model is—as is Africa overall—at a turning point. Future growth and opportunity will come to those able to market competitively on a global scale. Increased trade for Africa has significant implications for the continent’s economic sustainability: African countries could generate $70 billion if their share of world exports increased by 1%—approximately five times what the continent receives in aid.1 The alliance model presented in this document is designed to leverage human and financial resources to maximize the impact of the craft sector’s contribution to the socio-economic stability of Africa and its people, particularly those with significant skills but limited export opportunity. With the U.S. gift and home furnishing industry sales revenue standing at $270 billion, there is significant market share to capture. An organized, strategic approach shared by stakeholders seems a critical component at this stage of the industry’s development to position it for growth. The recommendations in this document have been researched with various stakeholders working in the craft sector in Africa. In addition, other industry alliances have been researched to determine best practices and model structures that will benefit this initiative. Those models include: The African Cashew Alliance, The World Cocoa Foundation, The Fair Trade Federation, and Cooperation for Fair Trade in Africa. 1 Oxfam International's Make Trade Fair Report. 2 D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance The recommendations in this document are not limited regionally but rather are presented as a global alliance, with planning strategies that promote the African crafts sector for international buyers, sellers, and key stakeholders with a vested interest in seeing the industry flourish and prosper. V ision To be an empowering resource for market-based solutions and a recognized brand within the craft industry which contributes to the socio-economic development of African countries. M ission To create an international organization that successfully collaborates with its members and other stakeholders to promote enterprise, create competitiveness, build trust and share knowledge thus increasing trade opportunities in the craft sector for the benefit and the flourishing of the industry overall. P illars 1. Promote Enterprise—by engaging in sustainable business practices to increase trade and create financial prosperity. 2. Create Competitiveness—by investing in market-driven product development and by overcoming supply chain inefficiencies. 3. Build Trust—by insisting on quality, professionalism, timeliness and reliability. 4. Share Knowledge—by working together to realize market demands and build long-term partnerships. Objectives Through leveraging members’ financial and technical resources the alliance strives to: 1. Narrow the distribution gap to increased trade and commerce. 2. Implement market-driven product development solutions. 3. Increase professionalism and business services provided by African companies. 4. Enter into reliable, long-lasting partnerships with financial institutions. 5. Expand access to sustainable banking relationships in support of the craft sector advancement in Africa. 3 D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance 6. Improve product quality, improving supply chain efficiencies to retain and grow business opportunities. 7. Provide a platform for networking, sharing knowledge and training on market requirements. 8. Build brand recognition of African craft sector products to increase market share. 9. Contribute to the cultural enhancement of the world through arts and crafts and to enhance the image of African countries and craftspeople. 10. Promote economic empowerment through market-based solutions that increase trade opportunities in Africa. 11. Collaborate with other organizations and partners to lobby and mobilize the financial resources necessary for the alliance’s financial solvency. 12. Commit to a strategic planning process within the alliance to execute these objectives for both short- and long-term visions. C ode of Conduct The purpose of the alliance code of conduct and ethics standards is to prescribe a set of individual and corporate standards that contribute directly to the integrity and competence of the alliance. The result being enhanced prestige and professionalism, which in turn gives credibility to the alliance as an industry leader. The alliance code of conduct aims to: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Act at all times with integrity. Foster increased personal and business competence. Resolve disputes with colleagues with fairness, accuracy and respect. Respect the dignity of all people and the rights of individuals without discrimination. Cooperate with membership professionally over promoting self-interest. Protect and conserve the environment through thoughtful and correct action. Advance the knowledge and purpose of the alliance. Uphold the values and standards of the alliance. S tandards of Ethics 1. Compliance with Laws, Rules and Regulations Obeying the law, both in letter and in spirit is the foundation on which the alliance’s ethical standards are built. All membership organizations respect and obey the laws, rules and regulations of the cities, states and countries in which they operate and within the countries with which they conduct business and trade, including all applicable environmental laws and regulations. 4 D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance 2. Ensure Responsible Labor Practices Alliance members do not accept or support the use of illegal, abusive or enforced labor. To safeguard responsible labor practices all those in the supply chain must work together to ensure children and adults are not subject to such conditions. Members should strive to provide all workers with an equitable, safe work environment, offer competitive wages in the local context and be amenable to workers joining an organizing body such as a union to advance workers’ rights. 3. Initiate Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibility Members should join together to tackle the complex economic, environmental and social challenges of doing business in Africa. Alliance members should work to foster sustainable economic development, promote responsible business practices, improve labor practices, and help conserve the environment. 4. Conduct Fair Dealings Alliance members should seek to perform business transactions fairly and honestly and obtain competitive advantages through exceptional performance, never through unethical or illegal business practices. 5. Non-Discrimination or Harassment Alliance members should provide equal opportunity in all aspects of employment and not tolerate any illegal discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin or any other protected class. 6. Provide Healthy and Safe Working Conditions Alliance members are responsible for maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for all workers by following environmental, health and safety rules and practices, reporting accidents, injuries, unsafe equipment, practices or conditions. This includes not permitting violent or threatening behavior towards any worker for any reason. 7. Keep Financial Records and Disclosure Alliance members’ books, records, accounts and financial statements must be maintained in reasonable detail, must appropriately reflect the company’s transactions, must be promptly disclosed in accordance with any applicable laws or regulations. M embership The AfricaNow! craft sector alliance strives to benefit both international and African stakeholders as a trusted provider to traders in the industry leading to higher-quality standards, accountability and professionalism. The AfricaNow! alliance encourages stakeholders (including producers, traders, international wholesalers and retailers, governmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and financial institutions) to apply for membership by completing the application process and supplying the necessary supporting documentation. 5 D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance Benefits of Membership AfricaNow! alliance members support a stronger, more efficient African craft industry, with improved standards, furthering progress towards sustainable practices which improve the credibility of the sector overall. Members benefit from: 1. Further progress towards best business practices within the sector, reaping the benefits for each role within the supply chain. 2. Support when addressing sustainability issues that limit growth opportunities. 3. Leveraged resources by joining together with other industry members to build scale and increase the impact of the alliance program. 4. Direct the program of activities the alliance will implement to support its goals. Members will receive the AfricaNow! newsletter as well as notification of upcoming events. In addition, members will enjoy: Access to the membership database A listing of each organization's profile in the AfricaNow! membership database Maintenance of a bi-lingual website Invitation to the AfricaNow! annual general meeting Permission to use the AfricaNow! logo on marketing materials aligned to the brand usage guideline Participation in training programs and conferences Networking and information sharing within the alliance and its partnerships Membership Annual Fees Dues are based on sliding scales of gross sales revenue in U.S. dollars and are based on sales during the most recently completed accounting period, as indicated by the following scale: Gross Sales Up to $74,999 $75,000 - 124,999 $125,000 - 199,999 $200,000 - 399,999 $400,000 - 699,999 $700, 000 - 999,999 $1 million - 4,999,999 $5 million - $9,999,999 $10 million-$29,999,999 $30 million+ Membership Dues (US$) $100 $200 $400 $500 $800 $1,000 $2,000 $2,500 $3,000 $4,000 6 D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance Membership fees support the alliance’s operational expenses. To create financial stability, the alliance needs to identify various revenue-generating activities to deliver on its objectives: To increase alliance resources in the area of marketing and promotion the alliance requests 1% of gross sales revenue from the sellers. Non-members’ use of the AfricaNow! logo on advertising requires payment of a licensing fee. All parties using the AfricaNow! logo are required to follow brand usage guidelines. A pplication Process Companies interested in membership of the alliance must follow an application process meant to safeguard the ethical standards and code of conduct that the alliance will provide to the industry. The application process requires the following information in addition to a US$50.00 application fee. Applicants must submit: 1. Completed Application Form A completed application form for the category that best describes or is most relevant to their organization, even if they qualify for more than one category. Applications should not be submitted by organizations with no prior sales history. Companies must be in operation for one full fiscal year before an application can be submitted. 2. Financial Information A financial statement for the most recently completed fiscal year including a profit/loss statement, tax return or sales tax report. Additionally, banking information, access to credit and current purchasing arrangement in terms of finance should be included. 3. Suppliers’ List A list of suppliers. If working directly with producers, applicants must list where possible, the approximate number artisans that make up any groups with which they work, including contact names, email addresses, and fax or phone numbers. This information will be kept confidential. Suppliers may be contacted to verify the information provided. 4. References At least three references, including email addresses, from those who can speak in depth about their organization. Applicants are encouraged to get recommendations from existing AfricaNow! alliance members, artisans, NGO partners, or peers who can inform the review committee about their company. These references will serve as external verification in support of their application. 7 D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance R egistration Process Once an organization's application forms, supporting documents and references are received, a registration committee will make the decision about membership. If the decision is favorable, the applicant will be contacted by the registration officer and arrangements will be made with regard to membership fees, and the self-monitoring process. All members are obliged to go through the self-monitoring process every 2-3 years. Probationary Members The alliance reserves the right to place any member on probation based on evidence that the member is not adhering to the code of conduct or acting in a way that may compromise the credibility of the alliance. Mentorship Program If an organization is denied membership based on experience, at the alliance’s discretion that organization may be partnered with a member within their country to coach them through the application process and mentor them in the areas necessary for improvement before submitting another application. In this circumstance the mentoring company must as a referee in the resubmitted application. Applications can be submitted once annually. O rganizational Structure The organizational structure of the alliance can be based on a nonprofit or for-profit model depending on which structure will most effectively accomplish the alliance’s goals. Regardless of the model selected, the alliance will require an experienced executive committee for board oversight and governance which will rely on the expertise of the membership for its formation. Additionally, well organized committees can contribute to in-depth strategies in specific areas of development to support the board and executive team. The AfricaNow! Alliance Board of Directors shall be made up of at least 10 seats on the alliance’s formation, representing diversity in language, race and gender. The Board shall have voting rights regarding the use of the AfricaNow! funds and provide direction and oversight of alliance programs. Organizations providing more than $50,000 of funding per year shall be eligible for a board seat. The AfricaNow! Alliance Executive Committee shall be the decision-making body, creating strategies, defining operations of the alliance and shall meet on a quarterly basis. The Executive Committee shall consist of five craft sector stakeholders: three from African companies, two from non-African companies. The Executive Committee shall be elected for two-year terms and report to the Board of Directors. The AfricaNow! Alliance Secretariat shall manage the alliance’s daily operations, including funds, program activities, communications, elections and processing of membership applications. The Secretariat shall report to the Executive Committee. 8 D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance AfricaNow! Alliance Advisory Committees Committee for Sustainable Business Practices This committee will focus on providing direction, assistance and training for sustainable internal operations within small manufacturing companies as a platform for growth in the areas of product pricing, supply-chain inefficiencies, accounting practices, professionalism in communication and follow-through with customers - all leading to a better bottom line. These components are essential pre-conditions for organizations to be able to take advantage of the growth opportunities offered by additional market access. Committee for Financial Investment This committee will look into how the alliance can leverage membership to develop more sustainable economical banking relationships for cost-saving and business sustainability including partnership arrangements with financial institutions, line of credit, volumes of scale within a sector struggling individually to attain equitable financing. Committee for Market Competitiveness This committee will focus on organizing the necessary information and training programs required to provide a competitive advantage to the membership. These include product development resources, market based analysis on buying trends, linking market requirements to membership for increased competitiveness and knowledge. The Buyers’ Advisory Board This board’s mandate shall be to keep the membership abreast of current buying requirements, from market trends to shortfalls in delivery of goods. The Buyers’ Advisory Board will be asked to contribute resources to training workshops in the areas of committee focus for alignment of resources and services. A F or-Profit Shareholder Model Pangea Artisan Market and Café specifically recommended a for-profit structure, to be evaluated within the process of building the alliance. The model involves selling shares to member organizations to generate working capital for the alliance and provide an ownership structure that creates incentive for responsible company interaction. The recommendations include: a. Form an entity (appropriate one, but not NGO) to administer and manage b. Register entity in the U.S. (need to research what type of for-profit entity is suitable) c. Have a certain number of shares/stocks to distribute among its shareholders d. Set aside certain shares to for founder members and producers who have been involved from the alliance’s inception. Example: I. 50,000 shares—increase shares as needed 9 D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. 5.000 (10%) to each founding member–awarded to Pangea, USADF, USAID 1,000 (2%) to each producer who went to New York to participate in New York International Gift Fair Remaining shares to be sold to new members (shareholders) Each 1% percent of share to cost $500 Producers can get 1% or more of the shares Importers and buyers can get 2% or more of the shares P ublic and Private Alliance Partnerships Additional financial support for specific program initiatives may be necessary to provide the alliance with adequate funds to implement strategies. Donor Community: The alliance should position itself to the donor community as a leader within the craft sector, able to identify key obstacles to economic growth, and reach communities through trade and act as an engine for economic empowerment in Africa. As experts in the craft sector, the alliance has the ability to execute with proficiency the expectations of the donor partnership objectives. Private Sector: By building trust in its private sector business partnerships, the AfricaNow! alliance can provide companies currently not trading in Africa with the confidence to expand their business relationships. The alliance provides a mechanism for private sector businesses interested in a corporate social responsibility program to support such an initiative by partnering with a trusted provider within the industry. In this scenario, a portion of the sale could be invested in the alliance for supply-chain building through production-process upgrades or training programs for the workforce employed through the specific transaction. To this end, the alliance must communicate its reach and effectiveness within the artisan communities. The alliance should compile measurable data as part of its brand to communicate the private sector’s impact possibilities through support of trade and commerce. B uilding Consumer Brand Awareness The AfricaNow! brand message to the consumer should leverage the alliance’s credibility to help boost confidence in purchasing products from Africa while increasing the perception of value to the consumer. The AfricaNow! brand equity will become a way for consumers to recognize quality and have confidence in the products the alliance promotes. The AfricaNow! name, logo and the marketing equity developed through USAID investment will be gifted to the alliance to use to promote its initiatives and communicate the brand of African crafts to customers. As a way of generating revenue for the alliance, all non-members will have to pay a licensing fee to use the brand identity. 10 D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance A fricaNow! Alliance—Research Quotes The quotes below are taken from the responses of a small group of industry stakeholders to a questionnaire circulated by the Trade Hub relating to the formation of an African handcraft industry alliance. Fred Masinde, Chair of Cooperation for Fair Trade in Africa (COFTA) “The supply chain gap is filled by the alliance and identifies key issues that need to be improved to capture the market.” “If we put these concepts into practice I believe it is something we can be proud of in the coming years. The self sufficiency’s of the model is also important” Leslie Mittelberg, Swahili Imports “The alliance should be entrepreneurial, business minded with business outcomes.” “Responsibility and entrepreneurial is the way to weed through and helps the companies that are entrepreneurial to become leaders within the alliance.” Jasperdean Kobes, Bamboula “The alliance needs strong African leadership” Sunil Shrestha, Pangea Artisan Market and Café “If this is to be successful it has to be governed and implemented by the business community. They know the issues and how to tackle it. The business community must take ownership of this. Then they will be able to lead it. This is what I feel.” “One key factor is this could be a platform for importers and buyers for meeting the producers this alliance is developing assurance in dealing with the African producers. For networking, it is a platform for buyers, importers and producers.” Patricia Badolo, Director, Village Artisanal de Ouagadougou “Such an alliance must have as a principal objective the study into the authenticity and creativity in production, the respect for the origin of production of this group, the justification of pricing, the quality of products and market trends etc.” “The administrative arm of the alliance would have to take into consideration the representation and the diversity of members, and the language.” 11 D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance Robert Ellis, Export Agent/Producer, Fritete (In relation to the question how the alliance could specifically benefit his business) “Consider the assistance that could benefit mostly – whether it has been designed to address my specific needs. If the alliance can address my specific needs then it can be of benefit to my operation.” “Whatever alliance we are looking at it should be planned in such a way that it is planned and viewed on a three or a five year or longer period so we can see the benefits. If we will lose the funding to do this then it should not be considered, as we will not see the benefits without this longer view and plan.” Moussa Traoré, Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite, Director of Salon International de l’Artisanat de Ouagadougou “The alliance should contribute to the socio-economic development of African countries. For example in Burkina Faso, the handcraft sector is the second largest after agriculture and livestock. It contributes an average of 30% to the Gross Domestic Product.” “The AfricaNow! alliance could for example approach all the international institutions supporting the industry such as ONUDI (UNIDO, United Nations Industrial Development Organization), handcraft such as the Conseil Mondial de l’Artisanat, (World Crafts Council in English) and development organizations globally (World Bank, International Monetary Fund, WTO, UNDP, etc) to plead and to lobby for the mobilization for the necessary funds”. Carmen Iezzi, Executive Director, Fair Trade Federation “A question to consider is how would the alliance complement other initiatives and bring them to the table so it is not duplicating efforts.” “We are happy to help as we can. Keep us informed!” 12

Street Address

City

CountryUnited States of America

Description D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance Transitioning To An International Alliance Model T he Alliance Overview The West Africa Trade Hub uses a market-driven approach to increase exports from the region—helping to make West Africa a 21st century competitor in world markets. The Trade Hub provides direct assistance to hundreds of companies in six value chains. That work is complemented by teams tackling problems in transportation, telecommunications, access to finance and business environment; infrastructure challenges that continue to make it difficult for West African companies to compete. AfricaNow!, part of a Trade Hub market linkages program for the home décor and gift sector, was launched in January 2009 as an innovative collaboration to bring African companies making contemporary décor and accessories to international markets. This model was created as a way for export-ready production companies that were unable to transact business with international buyers because of lack of resources as well as logistical constraints, to benefit from the market linkages programs. After 18 months of experience, it was decided to expand the scope of the initial model. The business model is—as is Africa overall—at a turning point. Future growth and opportunity will come to those able to market competitively on a global scale. Increased trade for Africa has significant implications for the continent’s economic sustainability: African countries could generate $70 billion if their share of world exports increased by 1%—approximately five times what the continent receives in aid.1 The alliance model presented in this document is designed to leverage human and financial resources to maximize the impact of the craft sector’s contribution to the socio-economic stability of Africa and its people, particularly those with significant skills but limited export opportunity. With the U.S. gift and home furnishing industry sales revenue standing at $270 billion, there is significant market share to capture. An organized, strategic approach shared by stakeholders seems a critical component at this stage of the industry’s development to position it for growth. The recommendations in this document have been researched with various stakeholders working in the craft sector in Africa. In addition, other industry alliances have been researched to determine best practices and model structures that will benefit this initiative. Those models include: The African Cashew Alliance, The World Cocoa Foundation, The Fair Trade Federation, and Cooperation for Fair Trade in Africa. 1 Oxfam International's Make Trade Fair Report. 2 D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance The recommendations in this document are not limited regionally but rather are presented as a global alliance, with planning strategies that promote the African crafts sector for international buyers, sellers, and key stakeholders with a vested interest in seeing the industry flourish and prosper. V ision To be an empowering resource for market-based solutions and a recognized brand within the craft industry which contributes to the socio-economic development of African countries. M ission To create an international organization that successfully collaborates with its members and other stakeholders to promote enterprise, create competitiveness, build trust and share knowledge thus increasing trade opportunities in the craft sector for the benefit and the flourishing of the industry overall. P illars 1. Promote Enterprise—by engaging in sustainable business practices to increase trade and create financial prosperity. 2. Create Competitiveness—by investing in market-driven product development and by overcoming supply chain inefficiencies. 3. Build Trust—by insisting on quality, professionalism, timeliness and reliability. 4. Share Knowledge—by working together to realize market demands and build long-term partnerships. Objectives Through leveraging members’ financial and technical resources the alliance strives to: 1. Narrow the distribution gap to increased trade and commerce. 2. Implement market-driven product development solutions. 3. Increase professionalism and business services provided by African companies. 4. Enter into reliable, long-lasting partnerships with financial institutions. 5. Expand access to sustainable banking relationships in support of the craft sector advancement in Africa. 3 D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance 6. Improve product quality, improving supply chain efficiencies to retain and grow business opportunities. 7. Provide a platform for networking, sharing knowledge and training on market requirements. 8. Build brand recognition of African craft sector products to increase market share. 9. Contribute to the cultural enhancement of the world through arts and crafts and to enhance the image of African countries and craftspeople. 10. Promote economic empowerment through market-based solutions that increase trade opportunities in Africa. 11. Collaborate with other organizations and partners to lobby and mobilize the financial resources necessary for the alliance’s financial solvency. 12. Commit to a strategic planning process within the alliance to execute these objectives for both short- and long-term visions. C ode of Conduct The purpose of the alliance code of conduct and ethics standards is to prescribe a set of individual and corporate standards that contribute directly to the integrity and competence of the alliance. The result being enhanced prestige and professionalism, which in turn gives credibility to the alliance as an industry leader. The alliance code of conduct aims to: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Act at all times with integrity. Foster increased personal and business competence. Resolve disputes with colleagues with fairness, accuracy and respect. Respect the dignity of all people and the rights of individuals without discrimination. Cooperate with membership professionally over promoting self-interest. Protect and conserve the environment through thoughtful and correct action. Advance the knowledge and purpose of the alliance. Uphold the values and standards of the alliance. S tandards of Ethics 1. Compliance with Laws, Rules and Regulations Obeying the law, both in letter and in spirit is the foundation on which the alliance’s ethical standards are built. All membership organizations respect and obey the laws, rules and regulations of the cities, states and countries in which they operate and within the countries with which they conduct business and trade, including all applicable environmental laws and regulations. 4 D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance 2. Ensure Responsible Labor Practices Alliance members do not accept or support the use of illegal, abusive or enforced labor. To safeguard responsible labor practices all those in the supply chain must work together to ensure children and adults are not subject to such conditions. Members should strive to provide all workers with an equitable, safe work environment, offer competitive wages in the local context and be amenable to workers joining an organizing body such as a union to advance workers’ rights. 3. Initiate Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibility Members should join together to tackle the complex economic, environmental and social challenges of doing business in Africa. Alliance members should work to foster sustainable economic development, promote responsible business practices, improve labor practices, and help conserve the environment. 4. Conduct Fair Dealings Alliance members should seek to perform business transactions fairly and honestly and obtain competitive advantages through exceptional performance, never through unethical or illegal business practices. 5. Non-Discrimination or Harassment Alliance members should provide equal opportunity in all aspects of employment and not tolerate any illegal discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin or any other protected class. 6. Provide Healthy and Safe Working Conditions Alliance members are responsible for maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for all workers by following environmental, health and safety rules and practices, reporting accidents, injuries, unsafe equipment, practices or conditions. This includes not permitting violent or threatening behavior towards any worker for any reason. 7. Keep Financial Records and Disclosure Alliance members’ books, records, accounts and financial statements must be maintained in reasonable detail, must appropriately reflect the company’s transactions, must be promptly disclosed in accordance with any applicable laws or regulations. M embership The AfricaNow! craft sector alliance strives to benefit both international and African stakeholders as a trusted provider to traders in the industry leading to higher-quality standards, accountability and professionalism. The AfricaNow! alliance encourages stakeholders (including producers, traders, international wholesalers and retailers, governmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and financial institutions) to apply for membership by completing the application process and supplying the necessary supporting documentation. 5 D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance Benefits of Membership AfricaNow! alliance members support a stronger, more efficient African craft industry, with improved standards, furthering progress towards sustainable practices which improve the credibility of the sector overall. Members benefit from: 1. Further progress towards best business practices within the sector, reaping the benefits for each role within the supply chain. 2. Support when addressing sustainability issues that limit growth opportunities. 3. Leveraged resources by joining together with other industry members to build scale and increase the impact of the alliance program. 4. Direct the program of activities the alliance will implement to support its goals. Members will receive the AfricaNow! newsletter as well as notification of upcoming events. In addition, members will enjoy: Access to the membership database A listing of each organization's profile in the AfricaNow! membership database Maintenance of a bi-lingual website Invitation to the AfricaNow! annual general meeting Permission to use the AfricaNow! logo on marketing materials aligned to the brand usage guideline Participation in training programs and conferences Networking and information sharing within the alliance and its partnerships Membership Annual Fees Dues are based on sliding scales of gross sales revenue in U.S. dollars and are based on sales during the most recently completed accounting period, as indicated by the following scale: Gross Sales Up to $74,999 $75,000 - 124,999 $125,000 - 199,999 $200,000 - 399,999 $400,000 - 699,999 $700, 000 - 999,999 $1 million - 4,999,999 $5 million - $9,999,999 $10 million-$29,999,999 $30 million+ Membership Dues (US$) $100 $200 $400 $500 $800 $1,000 $2,000 $2,500 $3,000 $4,000 6 D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance Membership fees support the alliance’s operational expenses. To create financial stability, the alliance needs to identify various revenue-generating activities to deliver on its objectives: To increase alliance resources in the area of marketing and promotion the alliance requests 1% of gross sales revenue from the sellers. Non-members’ use of the AfricaNow! logo on advertising requires payment of a licensing fee. All parties using the AfricaNow! logo are required to follow brand usage guidelines. A pplication Process Companies interested in membership of the alliance must follow an application process meant to safeguard the ethical standards and code of conduct that the alliance will provide to the industry. The application process requires the following information in addition to a US$50.00 application fee. Applicants must submit: 1. Completed Application Form A completed application form for the category that best describes or is most relevant to their organization, even if they qualify for more than one category. Applications should not be submitted by organizations with no prior sales history. Companies must be in operation for one full fiscal year before an application can be submitted. 2. Financial Information A financial statement for the most recently completed fiscal year including a profit/loss statement, tax return or sales tax report. Additionally, banking information, access to credit and current purchasing arrangement in terms of finance should be included. 3. Suppliers’ List A list of suppliers. If working directly with producers, applicants must list where possible, the approximate number artisans that make up any groups with which they work, including contact names, email addresses, and fax or phone numbers. This information will be kept confidential. Suppliers may be contacted to verify the information provided. 4. References At least three references, including email addresses, from those who can speak in depth about their organization. Applicants are encouraged to get recommendations from existing AfricaNow! alliance members, artisans, NGO partners, or peers who can inform the review committee about their company. These references will serve as external verification in support of their application. 7 D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance R egistration Process Once an organization's application forms, supporting documents and references are received, a registration committee will make the decision about membership. If the decision is favorable, the applicant will be contacted by the registration officer and arrangements will be made with regard to membership fees, and the self-monitoring process. All members are obliged to go through the self-monitoring process every 2-3 years. Probationary Members The alliance reserves the right to place any member on probation based on evidence that the member is not adhering to the code of conduct or acting in a way that may compromise the credibility of the alliance. Mentorship Program If an organization is denied membership based on experience, at the alliance’s discretion that organization may be partnered with a member within their country to coach them through the application process and mentor them in the areas necessary for improvement before submitting another application. In this circumstance the mentoring company must as a referee in the resubmitted application. Applications can be submitted once annually. O rganizational Structure The organizational structure of the alliance can be based on a nonprofit or for-profit model depending on which structure will most effectively accomplish the alliance’s goals. Regardless of the model selected, the alliance will require an experienced executive committee for board oversight and governance which will rely on the expertise of the membership for its formation. Additionally, well organized committees can contribute to in-depth strategies in specific areas of development to support the board and executive team. The AfricaNow! Alliance Board of Directors shall be made up of at least 10 seats on the alliance’s formation, representing diversity in language, race and gender. The Board shall have voting rights regarding the use of the AfricaNow! funds and provide direction and oversight of alliance programs. Organizations providing more than $50,000 of funding per year shall be eligible for a board seat. The AfricaNow! Alliance Executive Committee shall be the decision-making body, creating strategies, defining operations of the alliance and shall meet on a quarterly basis. The Executive Committee shall consist of five craft sector stakeholders: three from African companies, two from non-African companies. The Executive Committee shall be elected for two-year terms and report to the Board of Directors. The AfricaNow! Alliance Secretariat shall manage the alliance’s daily operations, including funds, program activities, communications, elections and processing of membership applications. The Secretariat shall report to the Executive Committee. 8 D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance AfricaNow! Alliance Advisory Committees Committee for Sustainable Business Practices This committee will focus on providing direction, assistance and training for sustainable internal operations within small manufacturing companies as a platform for growth in the areas of product pricing, supply-chain inefficiencies, accounting practices, professionalism in communication and follow-through with customers - all leading to a better bottom line. These components are essential pre-conditions for organizations to be able to take advantage of the growth opportunities offered by additional market access. Committee for Financial Investment This committee will look into how the alliance can leverage membership to develop more sustainable economical banking relationships for cost-saving and business sustainability including partnership arrangements with financial institutions, line of credit, volumes of scale within a sector struggling individually to attain equitable financing. Committee for Market Competitiveness This committee will focus on organizing the necessary information and training programs required to provide a competitive advantage to the membership. These include product development resources, market based analysis on buying trends, linking market requirements to membership for increased competitiveness and knowledge. The Buyers’ Advisory Board This board’s mandate shall be to keep the membership abreast of current buying requirements, from market trends to shortfalls in delivery of goods. The Buyers’ Advisory Board will be asked to contribute resources to training workshops in the areas of committee focus for alignment of resources and services. A F or-Profit Shareholder Model Pangea Artisan Market and Café specifically recommended a for-profit structure, to be evaluated within the process of building the alliance. The model involves selling shares to member organizations to generate working capital for the alliance and provide an ownership structure that creates incentive for responsible company interaction. The recommendations include: a. Form an entity (appropriate one, but not NGO) to administer and manage b. Register entity in the U.S. (need to research what type of for-profit entity is suitable) c. Have a certain number of shares/stocks to distribute among its shareholders d. Set aside certain shares to for founder members and producers who have been involved from the alliance’s inception. Example: I. 50,000 shares—increase shares as needed 9 D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. 5.000 (10%) to each founding member–awarded to Pangea, USADF, USAID 1,000 (2%) to each producer who went to New York to participate in New York International Gift Fair Remaining shares to be sold to new members (shareholders) Each 1% percent of share to cost $500 Producers can get 1% or more of the shares Importers and buyers can get 2% or more of the shares P ublic and Private Alliance Partnerships Additional financial support for specific program initiatives may be necessary to provide the alliance with adequate funds to implement strategies. Donor Community: The alliance should position itself to the donor community as a leader within the craft sector, able to identify key obstacles to economic growth, and reach communities through trade and act as an engine for economic empowerment in Africa. As experts in the craft sector, the alliance has the ability to execute with proficiency the expectations of the donor partnership objectives. Private Sector: By building trust in its private sector business partnerships, the AfricaNow! alliance can provide companies currently not trading in Africa with the confidence to expand their business relationships. The alliance provides a mechanism for private sector businesses interested in a corporate social responsibility program to support such an initiative by partnering with a trusted provider within the industry. In this scenario, a portion of the sale could be invested in the alliance for supply-chain building through production-process upgrades or training programs for the workforce employed through the specific transaction. To this end, the alliance must communicate its reach and effectiveness within the artisan communities. The alliance should compile measurable data as part of its brand to communicate the private sector’s impact possibilities through support of trade and commerce. B uilding Consumer Brand Awareness The AfricaNow! brand message to the consumer should leverage the alliance’s credibility to help boost confidence in purchasing products from Africa while increasing the perception of value to the consumer. The AfricaNow! brand equity will become a way for consumers to recognize quality and have confidence in the products the alliance promotes. The AfricaNow! name, logo and the marketing equity developed through USAID investment will be gifted to the alliance to use to promote its initiatives and communicate the brand of African crafts to customers. As a way of generating revenue for the alliance, all non-members will have to pay a licensing fee to use the brand identity. 10 D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance A fricaNow! Alliance—Research Quotes The quotes below are taken from the responses of a small group of industry stakeholders to a questionnaire circulated by the Trade Hub relating to the formation of an African handcraft industry alliance. Fred Masinde, Chair of Cooperation for Fair Trade in Africa (COFTA) “The supply chain gap is filled by the alliance and identifies key issues that need to be improved to capture the market.” “If we put these concepts into practice I believe it is something we can be proud of in the coming years. The self sufficiency’s of the model is also important” Leslie Mittelberg, Swahili Imports “The alliance should be entrepreneurial, business minded with business outcomes.” “Responsibility and entrepreneurial is the way to weed through and helps the companies that are entrepreneurial to become leaders within the alliance.” Jasperdean Kobes, Bamboula “The alliance needs strong African leadership” Sunil Shrestha, Pangea Artisan Market and Café “If this is to be successful it has to be governed and implemented by the business community. They know the issues and how to tackle it. The business community must take ownership of this. Then they will be able to lead it. This is what I feel.” “One key factor is this could be a platform for importers and buyers for meeting the producers this alliance is developing assurance in dealing with the African producers. For networking, it is a platform for buyers, importers and producers.” Patricia Badolo, Director, Village Artisanal de Ouagadougou “Such an alliance must have as a principal objective the study into the authenticity and creativity in production, the respect for the origin of production of this group, the justification of pricing, the quality of products and market trends etc.” “The administrative arm of the alliance would have to take into consideration the representation and the diversity of members, and the language.” 11 D raft Strategy Paper – AfricaNow! Handcraft Alliance Robert Ellis, Export Agent/Producer, Fritete (In relation to the question how the alliance could specifically benefit his business) “Consider the assistance that could benefit mostly – whether it has been designed to address my specific needs. If the alliance can address my specific needs then it can be of benefit to my operation.” “Whatever alliance we are looking at it should be planned in such a way that it is planned and viewed on a three or a five year or longer period so we can see the benefits. If we will lose the funding to do this then it should not be considered, as we will not see the benefits without this longer view and plan.” Moussa Traoré, Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite, Director of Salon International de l’Artisanat de Ouagadougou “The alliance should contribute to the socio-economic development of African countries. For example in Burkina Faso, the handcraft sector is the second largest after agriculture and livestock. It contributes an average of 30% to the Gross Domestic Product.” “The AfricaNow! alliance could for example approach all the international institutions supporting the industry such as ONUDI (UNIDO, United Nations Industrial Development Organization), handcraft such as the Conseil Mondial de l’Artisanat, (World Crafts Council in English) and development organizations globally (World Bank, International Monetary Fund, WTO, UNDP, etc) to plead and to lobby for the mobilization for the necessary funds”. Carmen Iezzi, Executive Director, Fair Trade Federation “A question to consider is how would the alliance complement other initiatives and bring them to the table so it is not duplicating efforts.” “We are happy to help as we can. Keep us informed!” 12

Name of InstitutionThe United States Agency for International Development

Phone

Mobile

Fax

Email



Leave a Reply

© 2009