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Minister commends ECA, pledges to speed up economic diversification in Chad

Chad’s minister of economic planning and development, Issa Doubragne, has pledged his government’s commitment to finalizing work on the country’s Master Plan for Industrialization and Economic Diversification within the next six months.

“Chad has no more time to waste,” said Mr. Doubragne, adding “I assure you that we will, in partnership with all stakeholders, accelerate a proper formulation and implementation of this Master Plan so that Chad can emerge – in the next four or five years – amongst the most resilient and diversified Central African nations.”

The minister was speaking in N’Djamena on 17 September during an event to officially kick-start the development of the Master Plan, based on technical assistance and preliminary work done by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

Part of the process of formulating the Master Plan involves examining strategic options for economic diversification and inclusive sustainable industrialization apart from dependence on oil and identifying key sectors that offer the best return on investment, new jobs, poverty reduction, and increased export earnings.

The final product (Master Plan) will, among other things, depict the structural characteristics of future industrial value chains and a development strategy based on Chad’s comparative advantages in the Central African economy.

Mr. Doubragne said his government was grateful for ECA’s support, noting “Beyond helping us to build a new and resilient economy, we hope to capitalize on your assistance to attract the necessary investments for an economic boom in Chad.”

In his remarks, Antonio Pedro, Director of ECA’s Subregional Office for Central Africa, said ECA’s role in coordinating the drawing-up of Chad’s Master Plan is in line with the Douala Consensus, which mandated ECA to help countries hit hard by recent extreme shocks, including the volatility of oil prices and other key export commodities to emerge quickly from the deep economic crisis they have suffered since 2014.

“We believe, in our humble opinion, that the Master Plan for Industrialization and Economic Diversification should be at the center of the country’s development agenda, around which the necessary levels of inter-ministerial coordination, investment prioritization, and budget allocation should be pursued,” noted Mr. Pedro.

The ECA official recommended that the Master Plan should provide a coherent framework and a common platform of intervention for all public and private actors, bilateral and multilateral partners, as well as the private sector, NGOs and Civil Society Organizations.

Such an approach, he noted, “is fully in line with SDGs 17, which encourages effective and inclusive partnerships to achieve the SDGs by 2030.”

Mr. Pedro assured the minister of ECA’s help to mobilize all components required to achieve the goal sought by the Chadian authorities.

Mr. Doubragne was accompanied to the event by Chad’s minister in charge of communications, Ndolenodji Naimbaye Alix.

The launch comes on the eve of the 34th Meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts for Central Africa, which runs from 18 to 21 September in N’Djamena, Chad

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