With nominal GDP at 80 trillion naira ($488 billion - World Bank), Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy. However, the Wholesale and retail market system which contributes 20% of the economy is inefficient, with numerous barriers to women and vulnerable groups accessing markets on favourable terms.
The Wholesale and Retail Trade (GEMS4) component of the GEMS programme is a £16.8 million project managed by Coffey International Development, a Tetra Tech Company. The GEMS4 mandate is to facilitate market system changes to address identified constraints, in order to encourage economic growth; resulting in the creation of 10,000 new jobs and increased incomes for 500,000 people, especially for the poor and for women.
GEMS4 initiatives focus activities on providing solutions to nine underlying systemic constraints that adversely affect the lives and livelihoods of poor people, especially women, in the wholesale & retail sector. These constraints are limited access to: markets, skills, support services, information, technology, finance, energy, logistics and infrastructure.
How We Intervene
GEMS4 is specifically focused on providing economic improvements for the poor and for women, and adopts a strategy based on Making Markets work for the Poor (M4P) principles and Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) approaches.
M4P: GEMS4 does not function as a market actor, but facilitates linkages between existing market actors in order for them to work together and serve each other on a sustainable basis. This is achieved by partnering with business member organisations, service providers and other functionaries in value chains. GEMS4 facilitates entry into markets, provides technical support for the adoption of innovations and new business models and leverages investments for the development of key market facilities to support business performance. The approach prioritises the achievement of: Systemic action; Sustainable change and Large-scale impact.
Systemic action: GEMS4 identifies where market systems are failing to serve the needs of the poor, and designs sets of actions to address the root causes of market failures.
Sustainable change: GEMS4 initiatives are built to be sustainable, this means we work with existing market players and demonstrate market incentives they can gain by taking on needed market functions.
Large-scale impact: GEMS4 always identifies the constraints which, once addressed, will provide the most results in terms of numbers of poor people who benefit and the extent to which they will benefit.
WEE: Women play a significant role in the wholesale and retail sector and are more likely to feel the effects of poverty than men. GEMS4 focuses on women’s economic empowerment to ensure that the growth of the wholesale and retail sector is accompanied by improved economic opportunities for women. The project identifies specific markets and intervenes where there are opportunities for pro-poor economic growth and for the participation of women.