” Substantial progress for the Global Shea Alliance Five years have passed since the Global Shea Alliance was established. What is the current status of the GSA? The GSA has expanded to 408 members from 31 different countries. We have made substantial progress in our member-led initiatives to expand shea markets and ensure the sustainability of the resource in Africa. A few key updates for the past year include: 60 members have registered as partners in the GSA sustainability program and are now implementing best practice guidelines and projects including the provision of warehouses for women shea collectors and processors, cooperative development and training for women’s groups, health and safety projects, parkland management trainings, conservation initiatives, and improvement of planting materials. We have launched a 5-year, USD 13 million partnership with the US Agency for International Development to support promotion and sustainability initiatives. We have held four international conferences and exhibitions in Africa, the US, and the EU that were attended by more than 700 members and stakeholders. In partnership with producing countries and members, we have made substantial progress on advocacy initiatives to address regulatory trade barriers for shea in the US and India. We have also launched new research initiatives to better establish the benefits of using shea in food and cosmetics. Joseph R. Funt Managing Director Global Shea Alliance 30 What are the main objectives and challenges for the next year? We need to continue outreach efforts in all stakeholder categories to recruit new members and sustainability partners and especially food and cosmetic brands. This stakeholder group has a key role to play in the GSA by promoting benefits of shea in products and more actively supporting producing communities. We will also roll out new partnerships that bring together members, donors, and governments to improve women’s empowerment and tree populations. Finally, we will advance our policy and research activities to expand markets for shea worldwide.
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