Building networks across national borders

A lack of up-to-date and relevant market information is a problem for small producers in many developing countries. By contributing to network building, information sharing and the exchange of experiences, the Royal Norwegian Society for Development is working to deal with this problem.

Project background

Access to markets is absolutely essential for small producers if they are to sell their wares, while lack of relevant marketing information is a major problem. The Royal Norwegian Society for Development thus saw the need for a regional, international network that could be used by the farmers in order to strengthen their market position.

About the project

In 2011, ESAANet – the East and Southern Africa Agribusiness Network – was established. The network is working to ensure increased regional cooperation and integration between producer organisations in Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Malawi. The project is being led by  the Royal Norwegian Society for Development in cooperation with the secretariat, which is located in Zambia.
A core feature of the network is a joint website for regional marketing information, which is jointly financed by the Royal Norwegian Society for Development and COMESA, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.

By means of network building, information sharing and the exchange of experiences,   ESAANet is attempting to attain increased market access, increased income for producers and sustainable trade.

Our contribution and role

  • Project administration and quality assurance
  • Network building and collecting experience
  • Planning and facilitating regional meetings
  • Suggestions, ideas and motivation


  • ESAANet is positioned as a NGO for regional trade and collaboration, with small producers as its main contributors. The small producers have thus gained a communication channel through which to influence political processes and exercise influence at regional level.
  • All the membership organisations in ESAANet pay an annual membership fee as an expression of their own obligation and of the perceived value from being a part of the network.
  • In that regional marketing information is put on the agenda, the small producers also have access via ESAANet to up-to-date marketing information via the website

Contact us

Oyvind Orbeck Sorheim, Director, International development

Mobile: +47 930 22 013

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Network of regional trade