Subsidies are intended to protect consumers by keeping prices low. But they also come at a high cost. They are expensive for governments—and therefore taxpayers—to finance and can hinder governments’ efforts to reduce budget deficits.
They also compete with other priority public spending on roads, schools, and healthcare.
AFD is implementing small-scale emergency programs city by city, with the aim of reviving Northern Mali’s economy and helping the many displaced persons and refugees to return home. The priority is to improve the electricity and water supply in the region’s main cities: Timbuktu, Gao and Mopti/Sévaré.
Objective: revive Northern Mali’s economy
Three emergency programs to rehabilitate drinking water and electricity production and distribution systems should revive the economy in Timbuktu, Gao and Mopti/Sévaré by helping displaced populations and the administration to return.
Strengthening the infrastructure of two Malian companies
The specific objective of these emergency programs is to rehabilitate the drinking water production, distribution and marketing facilities of the Mali Drinking Water Management Company, SOMAGEP-SA, and the electricity facilities of the Mali Energy Company, EDM-SA, in the cities in question.
The planned works aim to:
• Rehabilitate the power generation and distribution system in the city of Timbuktu;
• Reinforce the power generation and distribution systems in the cities of Mopti and Sévaré;
• Rehabilitate the drinking water supply systems in the cities of Mopti, Timbuktu and Gao.
The planned works for the “Water” component: rehabilitate facilities such as boreholes, install water treatment and purification facilities, pumping stations, power supply equipment, etc.; rehabilitate reservoirs and distribution and connection pipes; refurbish premises and procure furniture and IT equipment.
The “Electricity” component comprises: an overhaul of generators; the rental of replacement generators during the overhaul; the procurement of spare parts; grid rehabilitation; the procurement of IT and office equipment.
The signing ceremony for these financing agreements took place on 27 April at the residence of the French Ambassador to Mali, in the presence of several members of Mali’s Government.
Support from the French army in high-risk areas
AFD will conduct supervision missions in the field if travel and security conditions allow this. It may be possible to request support from the French SERVAL force for the supervision of works in red zones (Timbuktu and Gao), either for the transport and security of AFD missions, or to provide technical officers for the supervision of works on the spot.
Tasting sessions, meetings with top chefs and prestigious delicatessens… This is what is on the menu at the Paris International Agricultural Show for the African producers of three products: Oku Honey, Ziama Macenta Coffee and Penja Pepper. The aim is to show that this first official recognition of geographical indications is an important issue for Africa and, more generally, for developing countries, both for the recognition and protection of their heritage and as tools for economic development.
What do Penja White Pepper (Cameroon), Oku Honey (Cameroon) and Ziama Macenta Coffee (Guinea) have in common?
These three exceptional products are going to be recognized and registered as “Protected Geographical Indications” (PGIs) in sixteen African countries, making them the first African products to obtain this label.
Penja Pepper certainly does not have the same status as its two travelling companions. It is coveted by the finest gourmets and Michelin-starred chefs all over the world, while Ziama Macecenta Coffee was first exported in 2003. Oku Honey is currently only known in its region of origin. The challenge for this product is consequently to enter the domestic market.
Why protect these three agricultural products?
These three products have a geographical name and a special quality linked to their region of origin and local know-how. They have a reputation and are more expensive than ordinary products. This means that they are threatened by usurpers who use the same name for different products, or simply “bad players” who do not respect the proper methods.
The registration of the name protects it in the sixteen member countries of the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI). However, there are conditions and they are tough: an organization must represent all producers, it must reach agreement on the delimitation of the zone and production methods, implement a control system…
With the globalization of trade, increasing competition on the main export markets and price volatility, it is worth exploring the possibility of developing local, renowned and very specific products.
These PGIs are similar to the European PGIs and Protected Designations of Origin (PDOs) and French Registered Designation of Origin (AOC). Once a product has been registered as a PGI at OAPI, it can then apply to be registered and protected in the European Union.
►►Read the interview with Jean-Luc François, head of Agricultural Development at AFD: “Modernizing family farming, which includes the PGI process, requires strengthening small producers in the face of globalized markets”.
The tasting program at the Paris International Agricultural Show:
►Monday 25 February: Tasting workshops at the Show
- Cirad Stand, 3 workshops: 10.00 – 11:45 – 13:30
- Ministry of Agriculture Stand: 14:45 – 17:15
The initiative: support small producers
The project aims to:
► Help producer countries identify and recognize national products that are eligible for Geographical Indications;
► Contribute to building the capacities of OAPI and public and private national partners in order to promote and protect Geographical Indications.
How is AFD supporting this initiative?
For each of these products, the project makes a diagnostic of the sector and identifies the relevant stakeholders. It defines the steps that need to be taken to achieve registration as a Geographical Indication.
Local and international consultants help producers’ organizations prepare the application, particularly for the definition of the geographical area, the preparation of specifications, the definition of control methods and the marketing strategy.
The support is provided through a tool that AFD has been developing for several years now: the Trade Capacity Building Program (TCBP) based on a grant from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of the Economy and Finance.
First of all, there is the support to the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI), which until now did not have the Geographical Indication protection. “OAPI is a powerful tool for establishing PGIs”, explains Jean-Claude Chesnais, head of the program at AFD. “It was therefore necessary to give it operational support through training and the implementation of the process to allow it to identify zones and products, define criteria, support producers, obtain legal protection, etc.”
At the same time, “We have to work with producers to help them form organizations and structure themselves, draft specifications and establish links with exporters and importers. But we also have to help them market their products and for the packaging, marketing…”