Key points for Chad’s industrialization and economic diversification hatched
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25 July 2018 Author :   Abel AkaraTicha
UNECA Complex

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (PAMACC News) - The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Government of Chad are firming up the Action Plan for the Elaboration of the Economic Diversification Strategy of the country which they’ve agreed to hinge on the development of agribusiness; the expansion of the livestock sector with a focus on leather and meat production; and the smooth entry of the country into the knowledge economy.

These were identified as anchor points for the country’s economic diversification strategy during an advisory mission to N’Djamena from 15 to 22 July 2018 by a team of ECA experts that held productive working sessions with the country’s Technical Committee on Economic Diversification under the auspices of the Minister of Economy and Development Planning – Mr. Issa Doubragne. The July mission to Chad comes after a successful scoping mission 4 months ago and tallies squarely with the recommendations of the Douala Consensus of September 2017 that calls on governments and industry captains in Central Africa to swing into the rapid diversification and industrialization of their economies.

The working teams identified renewable energy, especially solar; increasing access to Chad’s rich acquirers to expand irrigation; deepening education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and offering more access to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), as some key enablers of the Strategy.

They concurred that to effectively tease out and implement the pillars of the economic diversification strategies outlined above, efforts should be deployed to create special economic zones, industrial parks and growth clusters along transport corridors.

The working groups evoked the need to establish these factors within a solid framework in which the pursuit of long-term macroeconomic objectives would be articulated.

A consensus was also reached on the need for Chad to devise robust macroeconomic models, develop value-chain and product space analysis as well as economic growth diagnostic studies. These, they concurred, would support project definition, prioritization and investment-targeting, as well as better inform negotiations with international financial institutions.

The ECA team used the mission to underline the need for Chad to approach economic diversification and industrialization in line with the opportunities opened up by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Hence, the need to advance with market integration in Central Africa was recognized as critical to making the country a competitive investment destination. This in itself, would enable Chad to make the most of the trade-induced industrialization catalysts offered by the AfCFTA.

The Chadian and ECA parties also agreed that in its pursuit of economic diversification and industrialization, Chad needs to strengthen policy coherence and thread institutional cohesiveness.
Work in the months ahead is expected to fructify the Action Plan for the Elaboration of the Economic Diversification Strategy into a concrete structural transformation policy instrument for Chad.

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