24 July 2014
On his visit today to meet the Executive Director of the Executive Secretariat for the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), Mr Ratnakar Adhikari, H.E. Mr Marc Yombouno conveyed the Government's strong appreciation of the EIF Programme in Guinea and expressed its commitment to continue with effective programme implementation.
"The Government considers trade as a crosscutting issue in its national development strategy and as a tool to alleviate poverty," H. E. Mr Yombouno said. "Guinea has now put in place good governance and infrastructural policies contributing to creating a favourable business environment conducive to domestic and foreign private investments. The EIF's role in supporting capacity development of the Ministry of Trade is essential in these processes."
The Minister emphasized the Government's appreciation of the Tier 2 project support provided in the mango sector. "Over 80% of the population in Guinea live in rural areas, and the majority are poor people dependent on horticulture, and in particular mango farming. The EIF Tier 2 mango project helps to support the livelihoods of these people and to reduce poverty." He highlighted the linkages with the second Tier 2 project on modernizing the National Laboratory on Quality Control. He noted its importance in improving the quality of a wide range of crops for export, helping rural farmers to access markets and generating revenues. "This project will also help regional neighbours without adequate national quality infrastructure to use the facilities in Guinea to improve product standards, thereby boosting regional trade," he added.
Under the EIF, Guinea is implementing a Tier 1 project to strengthen the Ministry of Trade's institutional and human resource capacity to facilitate trade mainstreaming, delivery of Aid for Trade and implementation of priority projects. The update to its 2003 Diagnostic Trade Integration Study is currently under way with the support of the World Bank. Guinea is also implementing an EIF Tier 2 project on the development of the mango value chain. In Guinea, over 85% of approximately 380,500 people living in the regions are reliant on mango production as their source of income. Of this percentage, a further 80% or 258,000 are women producers and harvesters who combine mango production with gardening and handicraft.
The Executive Director of the Executive Secretariat for the EIF, Mr Ratnakar Adhikari, praised the strong national ownership of the EIF programme in Guinea and for putting trade at the forefront in national decision‑making. He noted that the policies put in place to support a better macroeconomic and political environment in Guinea would go a long way in developing and bolstering the trade capacity of the country.
"The mango Tier 2 project has the potential to transform the trade landscape of Guinea. Likewise, upgrading the laboratory infrastructure project, which can contribute to boosting agricultural trade not only at the international level but also at the regional level, looks equally promising," Mr Adhikari said. He assured the visiting delegates that "the Executive Secretariat for the EIF would strive to make a timely submission of the project for consideration by the EIF Board."
Mr Ansoumane Berete, Guinea's EIF National Implementation Unit (NIU) Coordinator, gave a brief update on the EIF Tier 1 project implementation. He noted that through the Tier 1 support, trade was evident in the Third Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, and institutional connections were being made with the Ministries of Agriculture and Transport. Moreover, a legal and regulatory framework on Intellectual Property Rights was now in place, plus the development of domestic policies and sector strategies. He also noted the various capacity‑building training sessions that had been carried out in the capital (Conakry) as well as in the provinces.
On the mango Tier 2 project, the project manager, Mr Mamadou Conde, noted that the project was on track and four studies had been launched, including a feasibility study to provide credit to farmers in close cooperation with micro‑finance institutions. To ensure project success, other stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Agro Institute of Guinea, have been actively engaged. He also added that work was underway with ITC as one of the implementing partners to support market studies and the development of a mango strategy, as well as with COLEACP (Europe-Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Liaison Committee) on enhancing product standards. The NIU was also liaising with UNIDO on product value addition.
In concluding the meeting, Mr Ratnakar Adhikari commended the Guinean delegation in sharing good experiences from the ground. In relation to other upcoming Tier 2 project proposals on pineapples and the hides and skins sector, he emphasized, "the EIF is a catalytic initiative and should be used as a platform to leverage resources for bankable projects from development partners, the private sector and the Government" and that, "it will stand ready to help the country in strengthening project proposals as well as making connections to the donors, if necessary".
Notes to editors:
The Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) is a global partnership between Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Donors and International Organisations that support LDCs to be more active players in the global trading system by helping them tackle supply-side constraints to trade. In this way, the EIF works towards a wider goal of promoting economic growth and sustainable development and helping to lift more people out of poverty.
The programme is currently working with 46 LDCs worldwide and three recently graduated countries, supported by a multi-donor trust fund, the EIF Trust Fund, with contributions from 23 donors. A high-level pledging event in 2007 set a funding target of US$250 million over five years – and both additional and on-going contributions are being sought. The purpose of the EIF is to: mainstream trade into national development strategies; set up structures needed to coordinate the delivery of trade-related technical assistance; and to build capacity to trade, which also includes addressing critical supply-side constraints.