EU-funded Industrial Upgrading and Quality Infrastructure programmes for Central Africa successfully implemented

EU-funded Industrial Upgrading and Quality Infrastructure programmes for Central Africa successfully implemented

LIBREVILLE, 7 February 2018 – The closing ceremony of two projects focusing on industrial upgrading and quality infrastructure development in Central Africa – namely the “Industrial Restructuring and Upgrading Programme for Central Africa (PRMN)“  and the “Quality Infrastructure Programme for Central Africa (PIQAC)“  – was held from 6-7 February 2019 in Libreville, Gabon. The final Regional Steering Committee provided an opportunity for the stakeholders of these projects, which were implemented starting from December 2014 by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) with funds from the European Union (EU), to discuss the results of the initiatives as well as to explore a potential follow-up phase to both projects.

“It is crucial for the region and for Gabon to receive such a support to improve the competitiveness of the region and its overall economic situation,” said Carmen Ndaot, Gabon's Minister of Industry and National Entrepreneurship, during her opening remarks. “Our government was keen on supporting and collaborating with UNIDO, the UE, the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) yesterday, is today and will be tomorrow.”

Ambassador Helmut Kulitz, Head of Delegation of the EU to Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe and ECCAS, added that: “We have to remember that both programmes achieved results that will have a sustainable impact on the region; reinforcing the capacities of several companies and improving quality in the beneficiary countries.”

Significant results were highlighted during the ceremony, including:

Through the PRMN, the beneficiary countries now have the skills and tools needed to design and implement programmes and initiatives to support the private sector and industrial modernization. The project also contributed to the emergence of national expertise, particularly through national consultants, who are now able to ensure effective support to local enterprises for improving their competitiveness. In addition, and on a pilot basis, 48 enterprises from Central Africa were directly supported to strengthen their competitiveness, and a number of young entrepreneurs were trained on how to prepare a business plans and raise funds.

PIQAC offered its technical assistance to 21 companies of the sub-region, of which 10 received the ISO 22000 certification on food safety management. Two laboratories per country – for a total of 14 – received technical assistance in view of being accredited to the standard ISO 17025 for testing and calibration laboratories. The programme raised awareness of the importance of quality among more than 4000 people. It also supported the processes which will lead to the implementation of a regional organization for standardization.

The participants agreed that the continuation of both projects is expected and fully justified in order to boost their contribution to the growth of industries, the strengthening of local enterprises competitiveness, the creation of jobs, the improvement of quality infrastructures as well as the intensification of intra-regional trade.

Initiated by the CEMAC in partnership with the ECCAS, the PRMN and PIQAC were funded by the EU with CFA francs 4.15 billion (6.3 million euros) and CFA francs 3.8 billion (5.8 million euros) respectively.

The projects covered seven countries: Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, the Republic of the Congo and São Tome and Principe.

For more information on the PRMN, please visit the website, or contact:

Rafik Feki

Industrial Development Officer

UNIDO Department of Trade, Investment and Innovation

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For more information on PIQAC, please visit the website, or contact :

Juan Pablo Davila

Industrial Development Officer

UNIDO Department of Trade, Investment and Innovation

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