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IFC Renews Support for Entrepreneurship Capacity Building in Chad through Partnership with Chamber of Commerce


In Washington:
Ludi Joseph

Tel: (202) 473-7700

Fax: (202) 974-4384

E-mail:
ljoseph@ifc.org

In N’Djamena:

Cheick Kante

Tel.: (235) 52.32.47

Fax: (235) 52.44.84

E-mail:
ckante@worldbank.org


December 6, 2004, N’Djamena, Chad—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today announced a grant of $111,000 to the Chamber of Commerce of Chad to support entrepreneurship capacity building for micro, small and medium businesses in the country. The Association Française des Volontaires du Progrès (French Association of Volunteers for Progress) will also join the partnership by playing a lead role in day-to-day management of the training facility, which will be located in N’Djamena.

Chad’s private sector is still underdeveloped. It comprises less than 400 small and medium enterprises and a multitude of small informal units focused on agro-industry, building materials, and public works. Modern manufacturing activity is embryonic and dominated by a limited number of public and some private enterprises with majority foreign capital whose activities are concentrated in cotton processing and sugar cane. The skill levels and capacity of small businesses to perform better and become more competitive in the country’s nascent oil economy remain low.  


The Entrepreneurship Capacity Building Program aims to develop and strengthen enterprises and align entrepreneurs with the potential to participate in new and existing economic activities in Chad. Using a cadre of highly qualified local officers, the program will develop the capacity of local micro and small enterprises by training and providing them with business support. A secondary goal will be to expand the capacity of local trainers to continue their assistance beyond IFC’s support to the program. Entrepreneurship capacity building is a major cornerstone of IFC’s SME development effort in Chad.


Somit Varma, IFC Associate Director for Oil, Gas, Mining, and Chemicals said, “We are pleased to cooperate with the Chamber of Commerce on this important SME initiative, which will help to increase sustainable development and related linkage activities around the World Bank Group’s investment in the Chad-Cameroon pipeline.”


Richard Ranken, IFC’s Africa Director, added, “This initiative fits with IFC’s New Strategic Initiative for Sub-Saharan Africa, which emphasizes the critical role that SMEs play in the economic development of the region.”


According to Mr. Ali Abas Seitchi, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Chad, “Training and support are crucial to the Chadian private sector at this important stage of its development. We look forward to a growing partnership with IFC, not just in terms of grants but also in terms of developing more sustainable financing opportunities.”


The Chamber of Commerce of Chad was created in 1994 as a public institution whose mission is to promote the private sector in Chad. Currently, it has delegations in 10 regional districts in the country, including Doba and Moundou in the South.  


Created in 1963, the Association Française des Volontaires du Progrès offers young people the opportunity of working with people of other countries by contributing personally and taking part, alongside such peoples and – on a voluntary basis – by participating in programs aligning economic and human development.  In the countries in which it operates, the AFVP supports and reinforces the initiatives of local civil societies. Volunteers intervene in the capacity of experts, organizers and mediators, very often in partnership with national executives.  


The mission of IFC (
www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FYO4, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.