Framework for action

For the period 2011-2015, the CDE’s interventions are based around three pillars:

  • Enhancing competitiveness
  • Access to markets 
  • Access to finance.

These interventions take the following forms:

  • Grouped assistance to SMEs (clusters of enterprises)
  • Enhancement of capacities of intermediary private sector organisations
  • Programmes in the CDE’s priority sectors:
    • agro-industry
    • aquaculture
    • eco-tourism
    • green energy
    • information and communications technologies
  • Support to the formulation and implementation of programmes for the private sector co-financed by third parties (e.g. PSDPs).

The objectives of these interventions are to:

  • Enhance business competitiveness
  • Facilitate access to finance suited to the specific needs of SMEs
  • Enhance the capacities of intermediary private sector organisations
  • Improve the business climate by promoting dialogue and/or public-private partnership
  • Strengthen the capacities of local (national and regional) agencies, consultants and service providers.


CDE's support to ACP enterprises and intermediary organisations are organised in a structured approach (with 3-5 year term) via programmes for groups of enterprises and intermediary organisations (up to 2/3 of the budget). Ad hoc assistance to individual enterprises, intermediary organisations and service providers of the private sector is not provided anymore, due to budget restrictions and reorientation.

Programme approach

Primary objective

  • Identify and support the activities of the most promising private sector companies of few sectors with a high potential for economic and social development in ACP countries.

Main advantages

  • buy-in by concerned companies & sectors via a consultative approach with local coordination;
  • availability of in-depth knowledge of key sectors;
  • quicker and more effective response to the needs of enterprises;
  • achievement of synergies with other stakeholders in the sectors concerned - national authorities, regional institutions, international donors.

Selection of sub-sectors with regard to :

  • comparative advantages;
  • sustainable growth potential;
  • innovation and emulation perspectives;
  • partnership potential and socio-economic merits (internal economic linkages, cumulated added value, employment and productivity improvement).

Expected results and impacts

At enterprise and intermediary organisation levels, and always keeping in mind the overall objective of increasing the companies/sectors' competitiveness:

  • productivity improvement;
  • product/quality diversification;
  • structuring of sector via the development of economic clusters;
  • development of new markets for the products;
  • improvement of access to investment finance.

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