An inter-sectoral coordination group is to be formally established to implement Mali’s Sector Strategy for gum arabic, a key product in the fight against land degradation, with significant trading potential. This encouraging step comes in the wake of a dynamic national workshop for the review of the sectoral strategy for gum arabic, held in Bamako, Mali from 22-23 October 2009, to which the GM was an active participant.
The workshop, organized by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, in cooperation with the International Trade Center (ITC), brought together key public and private stakeholders related to the gum arabic value chain.
The GM has been supporting the gum arabic sector in Mali since 2007, with the objective of facilitating inter-sectoral collaboration between stakeholders from trade, agriculture and environment. The GM firmly believes that sector development requires coordination of all these actors to ensure sustainable development and poverty reduction. During the workshop, the GM reasserted its commitment to supporting the gum arabic sector in the context of its country support programme in Mali, including by engaging with this group and supporting its efforts in implementing the sector strategy.
Gum arabic is a very important product for Mali, not only in terms of the trade potential it offers, but also because gum trees are crucial in sequestering nitrogen, thereby also actively contributing towards halting desertification and land degradation. Moreover, gum arabic is a priority in Mali’s national Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and in the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study.
Complying with internationally recognized rules and regulations in the management of gum trees contributes to adding value to the gum production chain and in making it more competitive in the marketplace. It is therefore paramount that sustainable exploitation of acacia trees be an integral part of the sectoral strategy.
The gum arabic production chain in Mali, is an excellent example of the national will to initiate dialogue with public actors from different sectors and the private sector.
Trade can contribute to poverty reduction objectives only if it is fully in line with the sectors that are directly related to livelihoods and food security, such as agriculture, livestock farming and the environment. Aid for trade (AfT), an initiative for the financing of trade development in developing countries, was launched by the international community with a specific view towards increasing the linkages between trade and other sectors.
Mali also benefits from the Integrated Framework (IF), which is the primary financing instrument to channel AfT to Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The IF works for the Government, and therefore it works for all government sectors involved in the promotion of trade initiatives contributing to poverty reduction, such as the multi sectoral strategies.
The GM works to support the review process and the operationalization of the sectoral strategy for gum arabic and to underpin efforts for the definition and implementation of institutional mechanisms to strengthen all the segments of the production/supply chain in a sustained manner.
It also contributes to the elaboration of a joint strategy between all technical and financial partners (TFPs) strengthening the natural linkages between their support programmes vis-à-vis trade, agriculture and the environment.
The GM is very much engaged in a process to enhance coherence of such a strategy with the policies of all ministries involved as well as the coordination quality of all the actors involved - be they public, private or technical and financial partners.
The programmatic approach for sustainable land management (SLM) promoted by the TerrAfrica partnership in Mali, of which the GM is one of the active engines, is an opportunity and a means to promote this process to enhance the coherence and strengthening of the synergies. The Country Strategic Investment Framework (CSIF) that this approach is trying to put in place, is an instrument to help Mali align its different sectors, actors and donors on the range of issues with direct linkages with SLM.
The review and implementation of the sectoral strategy for gum arabic is a great opportunity to channel innovative sources in financing SLM, in particular those related to AfT and private sector investments.
For more information:
Ms Eleonora Canigiani, Trade & Market Access Officer
Tel. +39 06 5459 2734
e.canigiani (at) global-mechanism.org
Maria Soledad Marco, Trade & Market Access Programme Associate
Tel: +39 06 5459 2671
m.marco (at) global-mechanism.org