Market Assessment

Artisanal Textiles value chain analysis, Senegal, 2006

    Nonetheless, Senegal presents a range of strengths and capacity to build upon in the artisan textile sub sector. The value chain is populated with motivated entrepreneurs and innovative designers, represented strongly by a number of high-profile women, and contain skilled work force and trained human resources. The rich tradition of the artisan textile trade provides a source of identity and distinction to the sector, and attracts institutional and commercial partners that rally behind a range of interests, from economic growth, to community development and cultural preservation. Examples of urban and rural vertically-integrated production in the artisan textile sector provide models for research and quality assurance. The sector is strongly linked to the domestic cotton industry and there are plentiful opportunities for diversification in product offerings and target markets.

    In consideration of the artisan textile sector conditions, market opportunities can be identified that fit with the competitive advantages and the needs of value chain actors. The focus should be placed on appropriately-sized markets that match increasingly coordinated supply chains, and take advantage of developing trends toward African motifs and subject matter in the home d├ęcor and accessories markets, and the growing sales of 'green' and ecologically-minded products which contribute to sustainable production processes over the long-term. Priority should be placed on opportunities that allow businesses to interact directly with markets, whether local, regional, or international, to develop capacity in business operations through experience and transactions.

    Methods for info gathering
    Aid to Artisans assigned a three-person team to the task of analyzing the value chain during a two-week in-country visit in August 2006. The methodology consisted of the following components:

    1) a preliminary review of previous sectoral studies and background information,
    2) a series of meetings and interviews in Senegal with value chain actors, business representatives, and supporting institutions, which culminated in:
    3) a participatory stakeholder meeting attended by thirty-two representatives of artisan textile enterprises, government agencies, input suppliers, and international organizations.

    Aid to Artisans then processed the input from meeting participants and combined these observations with market research to develop a set of recommendations and an action plan for SAGIC's approach to the sub sector. ATA's suggested approach was then validated through a series of meetings in September 2006, attended by representatives of potential partner enterprises throughout the value chain as well as supportive government agencies and non-profit organizations.

    Summary of results
    After detailing the circumstances of value chain actors, Aid to Artisans has developed a set of proposed solutions for enhancing the growth of the artisan textile sub sector. These recommendations are organized into three categories, including Capacity- Building & Technical Assistance, Product Design & Development, and Market Access.

    Each of these suggested activities are informed by an emphasis on enhancing value-added processes in Senegal, building on local resources and capacity, targeting high-end niche markets, and integrating long-term sustainability goals. All recommendations are reliant on the interest, input, and cooperation of partner entrepreneurs. critical points of intervention and next steps are illustrated in more detail in the final portion of this document.