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Many mango exporters in attendance

Italy-Senegal relations going strong in the fruit and vegetable sector

The technical-managerial training program promoted by Agenzia ICE 'Lab Innova for Africa – Senegal', part of the 'Lab Innova for Africa' project, aimed at providing integrated assistance and coaching to support the development and internationalization of African companies in the agribusiness sector, concluded in Dakar on 27 June 2024. The training course was inaugurated by Ousmane Mbaye, Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture; Federico Bernardi, Chargé d'Affaires of the Italian Embassy in Dakar; representatives of the initiative's partner organizations ADEPME, COSEC, CFAHS; and the Director of the ICE office in Dakar, Alessandro Gerbino.

"Many operators from different companies," says Enrico Turoni, present at ICE in Dakar, "are mango exporters to Europe and are GAP certified."

The 'Lab Innova for Africa' training project is being implemented for the second time in Senegal; launched in 2019, it has already achieved positive results in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Uganda, Angola, Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Tunisia, Cameroon and Sahel, involving a total of 340 African companies. The initiative aims to improve the knowledge and skills of African and Italian companies to operate effectively in each other's economic systems, contributing to the development of business, investment and partnership opportunities between Italy and Africa.

"In Senegal," says ICE, "the agribusiness sector has great potential thanks to the favorable climate, the size of the country and the richness of its soil. The growth of the agricultural and agri-industrial sector is one of the priorities of the recently established government, which is determined to pursue the country's food sovereignty and to enhance the value of local products, also through increased international cooperation.

The technical and managerial support offered to Senegalese companies by the LabInnova project, combined with the opportunity to meet with Italian companies in the sector, responds to the needs expressed by local operators in the most representative crops with strong export potential, such as mangoes, cashew nuts and vegetables."

The 35 selected Senegalese companies had the opportunity to develop their skills in international trade through a practical approach based on simulations and case studies during the training phase of the Senegal project, which took place between 24 and 27 June.

In addition, the participants had the opportunity to meet with the AICS Italian Agency for Development Cooperation which has a strong presence in Senegal in the agricultural sector, and to listen to the testimonies of Italian companies operating in the field of technologies focused on this sector, from mechanization to the cold chain and irrigation.

"At the end of the training activity, the participants were asked to prepare a project work on an internationalization strategy towards the European market. The training program includes the following topics: marketing, technological and digital innovation, export techniques (logistics, contracting, etc.) and sustainability, and is supervised by ICE Faculty experts selected for their experience in the sector/market."

"Nine Senegalese companies specifically organized for export have already participated in the study tour phase in Italy from 6 to 10 May 2024," Turoni points out.

The companies attended the first day of the CIBUS exhibition in Parma and the Macfrut 2024 exhibition, a reference event for fruit and vegetable professionals in Italy and abroad. The study tour included B2B meetings with exhibitors, high-level meetings and conferences, and guided tours of the pavilions and demonstration areas at the fairs. On 8 May, the LAB INNOVA FOR AFRICA event focused on the mango supply chain took place at the fairgrounds, with the participation on the Italian side of ICE, Africa Affari/Infoafrica, Confindustria Assafrica e Mediterraneo, AICS, CDP.

For more information:
Alessandro Gerbino
Direttore Ufficio ICE Dakar
Email: [email protected]
Email: [email protected]