The project

Who we are ?

Collaborative Action for Handicraft Exports

The ACEA (Collaborative Action for artisanal exports) project is funded by a donation from the United States Embassy in Tunisia. The ACEA project is one of social and economic development targeting artisans from North- West Tunisia. This mountainous region is particularly challenging, and means are often limited.

Indeed, poverty is prevalent and effects most people in the governorates of El Kef, Jendouba, Beja and Siliana. However, this region is rich in many other aspects, whether they be natural or human. Our artisan partners have extensive knowledge of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs); as well as impressive know-how concerning their transformation and uses.

What we do ?

Our goal is to put our partners in touch with people they need, and to give them the necessary tools to commercialise their products. ACEA aims to empower them so that their commercial activities can continue and grow well after the end of the project. The end goal is to export their products internationally, in Europe and elsewhere.

How we do it ?

ACEA has brought together many actors in the MAP value chain, and grouped them together into a cluster.

Theclusterbrings together all resources and knowledge contained within it, so that all members can share and help each other, with an aim to develop an industry via economies of scale. This method has been used by geographically-close companies of the same industry worldwide.

This method has had a lot of success. For example, the famous “Silicon Valley” started out as a cluster. It is now the world’s go-to in terms of technological innovation.

Who does what ?

To help the cluster to get organised and collaborate, we have created 6 working groups, along 6 main axes.These axes are the result of problem identification exercises with the members of the cluster. They are

  • Research and Development
  • Training
  • Marketing
  • Certification
  • Technical and economic collaboration
  • Logistics

Every cluster member has chosen their working group, and each group meets often to work together. Each group also has a leader, generally the person with the most experience. The whole cluster also meets at workshop events (detailed on the ACEA webpage).

These workshops help cluster members define their direction together, but also their strategies and corresponding tactics.

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