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Growing more than just a business.



COMPANY: Etablissements KAMA

INDUSTRY: Agriculture and nut processing


After completing a vocational training programme, Antoinette Koudjal Mangaral founded her business, Etablissements KAMA, with her husband's financial backing in 1995. Based in Chad, it specializes in the collection and processing of shea nuts into shea butter.

Sub-Saharan Africa already grows and supplies most of the world's shea nuts, but the region's output has yet to reach its full potential. In Chad, for example, only a small percentage of the country's millions of shea trees are harvested, despite strong local demand for shea butter for use in cooking and cosmetics. There is also strong export potential--Europe alone consumes up to 60,000 tonnes of shea butter every year.

When Mangaral launched her business, she knew that its success would depend on the development of the agriculture sector as a whole across Chad. To ensure she was in a good position to influence and promote the sector, she offered to head the Chadian Association of Agrobusiness Operators in 2003. Once elected, she worked hard to create a dynamic that would support the industry, and the organization itself grew under her stewardship.

Mangaral also joined an association for women artisans that has a membership of more than 1,000, some of whom supply raw materials to Etablissements KAMA. Moreover, she has been a member of the Chadian Association of Women in Business for over a decade, where she mentors businesswomen in rural areas. As a result of her success and positive actions, Mangaral has won recognition in Chad for both her contribution to the country's overall economic development and for promoting women in business.

Yet even with her significant experience, Mangaral found it useful to undertake an ACCESS! training programme. 'I undertook a total restructuring process of my business. I set out to organize all of the tasks being done in the company; we strengthened our accounting system and I got more involved in certain areas that required better supervision. I now train my staff so that they can manage business operations at home while I am away developing export markets. I have also transferred skills for better managing the supply chain. Everything is up and running now.'

'I particularly benefitted from the training sessions on negotiating skills, pricing and IN COTERMS[R] 2010,' says Mangaral, referring to the International Chamber of Commerce's predefined commercial terms that are widely used in international transactions. 'In the past, I didn't concern myself as much with these at eas. People would approach Etablissements KAMA directly to purchase our products, but I knew very little about the terms and conditions of contracts. The ACCESS/training helped me to formalize contracts around business deals and these have proven to better secure my interests.'

In Chad, the national focal point for the ACCESS! programme is the Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture, Mining and Crafts. 'The ACCESS! focal point has really shown its commitment to offering the programme and its services to all women,' says Mangaral, 'both by developing the programme in other regions of Chad while also establishing links for us with business opportunities in neighbouring countries.'

Overall, the future looks very bright for the business Mangaral founded 17 years ago, despite her working against a backdrop of political instability and civil war. Demand for shea butter remains strong and the economic infrastructure needed to service that demand is significantly more advanced than it was when she embarked on her journey.

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Title Annotation:CASE STUDY
Comment:Growing more than just a business.(CASE STUDY)
Publication:International Trade Forum
Geographic Code:6CHAD
Date:Oct 1, 2012
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