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The Government of the Union of Comoros has developed a national strategy oriented to local resources transformation for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to revamp its industrial productivity and export base.

According to the Vice President in Charge of the Ministry of Economy, Planning, Energy, Industry, Handicraft, Tourism, Investment, Private Sector and Land Affairs Djaffar Ahmed Said Hassani, the strategy is expected to raise industrial output which currently contributes a paltry 3% of the national Gross Domestic Product.

The strategy has identified eight commodities with a high potential for export. These include the Ylang, orange and lemon essential oils, organic spices, frozen fish, crustaceans, concentrates and smoked fish.

Addressing over 70 participants at the strategy validation workshop in Moroni recently, Mr. Hassani said the strategy will help the country improve its levels of industrial output which he described as currently unacceptable.

“Our government has been now been equipped with a strategic framework that will guide and grow the industrial sector and provide an action plan in the midterm,” the Vice President noted.

Participants discussed how Comoros’ industrial and export decline could be reversed and improved by focusing on the competitive advantages of the island. In the 70s, the island used to export 30 different commodities, but the volume decreased to only three commodities.

Speaking at the same event, COMESA Director of Industry and Agriculture Mr. Thierry Mutombo noted that the Comoros national strategy had been aligned to the COMESA Industrial Policy. He described the document as an important strategic planning tool that is realistic and based on the local resources that Comoros is endowed with.

He added: “The strategy was designed to be flexible and allow for steady progress by focusing on several manageable areas while others will be added from time to time for purposes of expanding what is being produced.”

The development of the strategy was funded by the European Union through the Technical Cooperation Facility (TCF) under the supervision of the Division of Industry at the COMESA Secretariat.