The first edition of the Invest in Chad Forum greatly exceeded even the most optimistic expectations. For the first time, the economic and financial elite from the Arab countries, the subregion and the Republic of Chad reunited at N’Djamena. After an fruitful three-day business reunion, with several exchanges, presentations, roundtables, networking and strategic partnership building, Chad can positively assert it has achieved a diplomatic and economic milestone.
The opening ceremony counted with four presentations. The President of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Crafts, M. Amir Artine Adoudou, the Director General of the Arab Bank for the Economic Development of Africa (BADEA), Dr. Sidi Ould Tah, and the Minister of Economic Planning and Development, Dr. Issa Doubragne, have alternately outlined the goals of the forum and wished for it to be a lever to implement the announcements made during the roundtable in Paris. They stressed the need for better coordination and enactment of these intentions.
Opening this first international investment forum, His Excellency M. Idriss Déby Itno, President of the Republic of Chad, strongly committed the Chadian government to strengthen economic cooperation based on public-private partnerships and open to international investors – with a focus on investors from the Arab world. The goal is to support Chad’s development and transform the country into a business hub that links the Arab world to Sub-Saharan Africa. “Africa would not be Africa without the Arab world and the Arab world would not be what it is without Africa”, stated the President.
Additionally, the President insisted on the substantial need to strengthen the capacities of the Chadian private sector so as to transform it into a strong partner of the Government. Doing so is fundamental to ensure innovative policymaking for economic diversification, as well as wealth-creating initiatives that support full employment. In view of this, the Head of State, after decreeing a Chadian Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, also pledged to open Chad to original and structural resources, like inclusive and Arab financing, so as to draw new financing and investment that will enable the execution of the four pillars of the National Development Plan.
A PRACTICAL AGENDA FOCUSED ON BUSINESS MATCHING
In terms of immediate results, the execution of the following major forum activities can be noted:
- The presentation of 6 presentations by ministries and technical experts on the potential of different sectors;
- 16 main private sector projects, presented by its managers;
- A roundtable on Arab countries’ policies and strategies in terms of investment and financing in Sub-Saharan economies, particularly Chad, was presented by the Director General of BADEA and the Head of International Development of Retail Banking of Attijariwafa Bank;
- A high-level panel on cooperation prospects between Chad and the Arab World, with 3 Chadian ministers (in charge of the Economy and Finances), the Minister Secretary-General of the Government, the General Manager of BADEA and the Deputy Director General of the Central African Bank for Development;
- The presentation of two programs, one of which is structuring the Chad Local Development and Inclusive Finance Program (PADLFIT) and the SWEED, a development program;
- Over 70 B2B, B2G and G2G meetings and discussions;
- The attendance of 650 participants, including 180 from the Arab world (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Qatar, Sudan, Kuwait, Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Oman…) and an important presence of economic Chadian players and academics during the plenaries, exposés, project presentations and programs.
These business partners, service and business providers, industrials have addressed best practices and business opportunities.
UNWAVERING SUPPORT FROM THE PARTNERS
Unwavering support was demonstrated during this forum, with a financial commitment that surpassed $ 815 million, destined to tangible projects in the following sectors:
- Road infrastructure;
- Agriculture and farming (value chains);
- Mines and energy;
- Human resources (training courses, health, education)
An added financial support from the Chad Local Development and Inclusive Finance Program (PADLFIT) was taken into account.
The government of Morocco firmly committed to bringing its technical and financial assistance for the development of the following sectors:
- Urban, water, and sanitation;
- Urban transportation;
- Mines, geology, and quarries;
- Information and communications technology.
The Egyptian Republic also pledged to help in the railway and hydraulics sectors.
The event highlighted the commitment of all private and institutional partners.
The forum allowed the holding of the seminar and the announcement of the launching of the Chad Local Development and Inclusive Finance Program (PADLFIT).
This multifaceted support will lead to the creation of structural projects and programs, as well as investment opportunities in the aforementioned sectors.
Thrilled with the event’s outcome, the Minister of Economic Planning and Development, Dr. Issa Doubragne, stated: “being the first edition of a series of geographical forums, Invest in Chad is the kickoff of a new and thriving dynamic; by the second edition, we will have organized a series of strategical actions to develop this trend. Chad must profit from its rich potential, and position itself as the new destination for profitable investment in Africa. This is the Chad that we want!”
To ensure the efficiency of the cooperation actions between Chad and the Arab World, a follow-up committee will be set in motion and will be formed by:
- Delegates from the Chadian government;
- Technical and financial Arab partners from the Arab Bank for Development in Africa (BADEA);
- The private sectors of both parties.
To develop these projects, the BADEA will play the leading role of Arab financial institutions and investment funds. An international expert will be hired by the BADEA to ensure proper coordination of the different projects and actions of the Arab partners, and well as the thoroughness for fund release.
The Chadian government designated CEMAC’S Multi-Sector Sub-Regional Institute of Applied Technology, Project Planning and Evaluation (ISTA) to accompany the ministerial departments in the implementation of follow-up mechanisms and the evaluation of the agreed projects and programs.
Over fringe meetings, a 216-million-dollar financial agreement for a project of telecom infrastructure modernization was signed with the Chinese government.
Regarding the construction of Djermaya’s new airport, detailed negotiations conducted with the Turkish group SUMMA led to the definition of the main technical, economic and financial aspects of the infrastructure. The goal is to swiftly agree upon a Memorandum of Understanding for activities to start.About the Invest in Chad forumThe Invest in Chad forum is an international and annual forum held to draw investments to Chad. This first edition focused on boldening the cooperation, nurturing the investments and developing partnerships between Chad and the Arab World.
Held in N’Djamena from June 26 to 28 2019, it gathered multi-sector actors (public and private players, development institutions, etc.) to promote investments in every sector of Chad’s economic transformation.