Chad: Supporting gum arabic value chain in rural areas

Chad: Supporting gum arabic value chain in rural areas

On 14 March 2014, Chad’s Minister for Commerce and Industry, H.E. Mr Abderahim Bireme Hamid launched the first EIF Tier 2 project in Chad. The Tier 2 project seeks to promote the gum arabic sector in Chad in view of the expanding export base that is predominately based on oil.

The gum arabic project is in line with Chad’s National Development Plan 2013-2015, and the country’s development vision underlined by the President of Chad, H.E. Mr Idriss Deby Itno. The project supports the diversification of the Chadian economy by strengthening the gum arabic sector through a value chain development approach. The overall objective of the project is to reduce poverty through income and employment creation, particularly in rural areas where gum arabic plays an important role for the livelihoods of many families and communities.

The project is based in five main regions in Chad namely, Salamat, Hadjerlamis, Guera, Batha and Chari-Baguirmi. Stakeholders involved in this sector will be actively represented in the policy and project monitoring bodies, through the Steering Committee, the Technical Monitoring Committee and the Local Steering Committee.

The Minister, H.E. Mr Abderahim Bireme Hamid noted that the EIF programme in Chad was working to strengthen the diversification of exports in sectors with high growth potential as reflected in the Action Matrix priorities of the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) Update. He stressed the need to have an inclusive ownership by all stakeholders and to better utilize the knowledge gained in order to promote a more effective key sector in Chad.

The gum arabic project stems from Government’s commitment to build on and sustain gains from the gum arabic sector, following positive results of an earlier gum arabic project funded by the European Union. The EIF Tier 2 project was developed in close collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources and will be implemented by the EIF National Implementation Unit. Local expertise such as SOS Sahel and Islamic Relief Worldwide will join hands with international expertise, UNIDO and ITC to support project implementation.

The UNDP Acting Resident Representative, Mr. Adama Bocar Soko, in his capacity as EIF Donor Facilitator, pinpointed the role of the gum arabic sector in the diversification of the Chadian economy and further informed the participants of the support of the UNDP to the programme and the need to align priorities, projects and sectoral strategies to the Action Matrix of the DTIS Update. On the other hand, Mr Bonaventure Traoré, the EIF Regional Trust Fund Manager recommended the efforts of the Government in mobilizing additional resources of US$1,500,680 to implement the gum arabic project, as well as using trade as a tool for national development.

The EIF programme is supporting this project with US$2,999,994 that is complimented with the Government’s contribution of US$1,500,680. Additional support is provided by UNDP to the tune of US$100,000. The gum arabic project will serve to strengthen the productive capacities of different private actors along the gum arabic value chain, such as producers and other actors, as well as the institutional capacities of intermediary bodies, such as sector associations and trade support institutions.

In Chad, the EIF kick-started its EIF Tier 1 project in July 2011, building on the earlier Integrated Framework programme in 2004. With the programme's institutional foundations in place, Chad launched its DTIS Update with the support of UNDP as the Main Implementing Entity in 2012, which was finalized and validated in November 2013. With UNIDO, Chad will also carry out a feasibility study under the EIF on three products including dates, natron and sesame based on a value chain development approach.