The Shea Project 2008-2012.pdf

NUSPA in Lexus Magazine.pdf


The Shea Project - New Sudan

Long burdened by civil war, Africa’s largest country bridges northern and central Africa, including the watersheds of both the Nile and Congo rivers. The northern border of the shea zone extends from Sahr in Chad through Birao (Central African Republic) to Sudan at Hofrat en Nahas in Southern Darfur.

In contrast to another type of oil resource, most of the Sudanese shea zone lies definitively within the southern sphere of influence, an area administered by the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) as the New Sudan.

Development of the Sudanese shea resource began under the British administration in the 1950s, with construction of a processing factory at Wau. From 1955, southern Sudan has been riven by war, and not for another 50 years would the resource receive any substantial attention.

In 1997, non-governmental organizations MEDIC and Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA) sent project staff for technical training in improved shea processing by COVOL Uganda under the Shea Project. NPA and MEDIC subsequently made the first investments in processing technology for installation in Sudan. From 1997-2001, COVOL provided technical training to over 200 Sudanese producers, and sold 10 grinding units and 30 hand-presses to projects in Sudan.

Development of the shea industry in southern Sudan has been very effective in a short time, but experience has shown that programs have suffered due to the short-term nature of ‘emergency’ work, with discontinuity of activities over the medium term. Most organizations working in southern Sudan operate on the basis of a two-year program, managed by a staff with high turnover. Programmatic priorities change according to donor whims as well as internal dynamics—with the end result of functional projects becoming inactive after a few years.


The lead agency on shea in the New Sudan, MEDIC has been working since 2000 in two project sites, at Mapel (Wau County) and Wullu (formerly Rumbek, now Mvolo County). MEDIC has also taken a lead role in networking between practitioners and projects, with an interest in providing technical support across the shea belt of New Sudan.

In 2001, MEDIC hosted a technical training workshop which brought together 35 representatives of 9 projects from Bahr el Ghazal, Lakes, Western Equatoria and Eastern Equatoria. Following this meeting, a set of common principles and objectives were developed upon which to establish a network of producers known as the New Sudan Lulu Network.

Since 2002, MEDIC has established primary production centers at 26 rural locations, consisting of a hand-press and basic utensils. Extension agents provide basic technical training, sheanut is stored and sold at these rural centers. Shea butter is produced and divided between household food requirements and the regional market.

Contact: Gordon Wagner, Coordinator
Tel.: +254 20 575 654


Shea processing technology training for women from Yirol, New Sudan
Acowa, Uganda March 2000