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
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.