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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                           MEDIA INQUIRIES:

  Donna Thiessen 

                                                                                                                                                                        (703) 875-4357

 

USTDA GRANT SUPPORTS THE DEVELOPMENT

OF THE MATAM PHOSPHATE DEPOSIT IN SENEGAL

 

DAKAR, SENEGAL – (August 2, 2006) Promoting the development of Senegal’s natural resources in support of the nation’s economic development goals is the objective of a U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) grant awarded yesterday to the Senegalese Ministry of Energy and Mines.  The $313,840 grant will fund early investment analysis on the cost and viability of various transportation alternatives for removing phosphate from the Matam phosphate deposits in Northern Senegal.  The analysis will enable the government, as well as potential investors, to determine the economic viability of the Matam deposits.

 

A signing ceremony to confer the grant was held at the Ministry of Energy and Mines in Dakar.  U.S. Ambassador to Senegal Janice L. Jacobs and His Excellency Madické Niang, Minister of Energy and Mines, signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. and Senegal governments, respectively.  Dr. Moussa Sylla, Director of Mining and Geology in the Ministry of Energy and Mines, and Ms. Cynthia Griffin Greene, Regional Senior Commercial Officer for the U.S. Department of Commerce, were present at the signing ceremony. 

 

Senegal is one of the major phosphate producers in Sub-Saharan Africa, and phosphate is the second largest source of foreign currency for the country.  Phosphate rock is primarily used to produce fertilizer, agricultural feeds, waxes, polishes, soaps, and detergents.  A steady demand on the global market has raised phosphate prices and driven a new wave of phosphate exploration that includes the Matam deposits.  The USTDA-funded analysis will examine a number of transportation alternatives for removing phosphate from the deposits, including rail, river, road, and pipeline.  Identifying the most cost-effective method of transportation for the phosphate at Matam is critical in order to attract investors to develop the natural resource.    

 

The opportunity to conduct the study under the USTDA grant will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities website at www.fedbizopps.gov.  Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions contained in the Federal Business Opportunities announcement.  The Ministry of Energy and Mines will select the U.S. contractor that will provide the training.

 

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries.  The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment.  USTDA’s strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development.  In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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