A new guide to the use of Central African timber for producer countries


This new ATIBT guide has been produced as part of the ADEFAC vocational training project, financed by AFD. It follows on from the guide written in 2017, which targeted the use of tropical wood in Europe.

An English version will be published in the near future.

Central Africa's forest resources represent an extraordinary tool for economic, social and cultural development, preserving biodiversity and combating deforestation.

The demographic dynamics of the Congo Basin and, more broadly, of the entire Gulf of Guinea represent a real challenge. Jobs need to be created and people's needs met (housing and infrastructure), while at the same time managing this remarkable forest heritage.

The figures for the domestic timber market in Central Africa increase with the number of inhabitants, which is itself rising sharply. In countries such as Cameroon and the DRC, artisanal sawmilling is a vital activity for tens of thousands of people, both urban and rural. In recent years, in countries such as Cameroon, this sector has become as important as the industrial forestry-wood sector, creating many direct jobs through the sale of artisanal sawn timber. The informal sector in the sub-region is estimated to employ around 100,000 people in rural and peri-urban areas.

This "Guide to the local use of Central African timber" is a logical follow-up to the "Guide to the use of eco-certified African timber in Europe", published by the ATIBT in 2017, which was aimed at users of African timber in importing countries.

This new guide, written by Patrick Martin and Emmanuel Groutel, can be seen as an information tool for African consumers, but it is above all part of a training initiative for operators whose knowledge of the material wood and how it is processed is often inadequate. Like the first guide, it has benefited from the financial support of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), which deserves our warm thanks.

This book is aimed at professional producers, joiners, carpenters and cabinet-makers, as well as users of African wood in Central Africa, public specifiers, trainers and teachers whose activities are linked to the wood industry. It differs from the first guide in that it has a much wider range of uses, with a lower price due to transport costs, giving it access to new markets. The first part of the guide provides an overview of the timber industry and its importance in Central Africa. In the second part, it provides technical information on the various aspects of wood, highlighting its advantages when used in structures. In the third part, it presents a range of projects in which Central African wood has undoubtedly proved its worth, and proposes a list of species that can be used to build them. To achieve the best possible results, wood must be used and installed in accordance with the rules of the trade for each project, on which the performance of the wood is closely dependent. The quality of the wood is also a key factor in the success of any project.


Download the guide

Download the guide to Europe, published in 2017

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