AfDB sets out long-term plans with new financing to revolutionise African agribusiness

Akinwumi Adesina Eric Roset African Progress Panel African Farming“Seize the Moment: Securing Africa’s Rise Through Agricultural Transformation”, will see the AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina, take part in and speak at several high-level events

The 5th-9th September has hosted 'Seize the Moment: Securing Africa’s Rise Through Agricultural Transformation', which the African Development Bank has set out a number of long-term goals and announced new ways to finance Africa's agriculture.

Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB's president has spoken, along with other AfDB's officials, reiterating the critical role of the private sector in the growth and development of the agricultural and agribusiness sectors. As part of its Feed Africa Strategy (FAS), President Adesina noted, “The African Development Bank will work with the governments of its Regional Member Countries to facilitate the creation of an enabling environment needed by the local and international private sector to make the necessary investments for Africa’s agricultural transformation.”

Deliberations at the AGRF will also focus on agriculture infrastructure, in which Chiji Ojukwu, the AfDB director for Agriculture and Agro-Industry, will deliver a presentation on “Enabling the Adoption of Technology, Infrastructure and Mechanisation.” Other highlights at the forum will include the Bank’s ENABLE (Empowering Novel Agribusiness Led Employment) youth initiative, which seeks to stimulate youth entrepreneurship in agriculture and agri-business. The multi-billion dollar project will see the bank train the next generation of agriculture entrepreneurs, also referred to as ‘agri-preneurs’ and assist to finance their business plans.

In addition, the Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR) has said that innovative financing is crucial for agricultural transformation, wealth creation and long-term prosperity in Africa. AfDB is one the authors of the report, which focuses on progress toward agricultural transformation in sub-Saharan Africa. It says despite annual public investments in agriculture having risen across Africa, from US$186.4mn per country between 1995 to 2003 to US$219.6mn between 2008 to 2014, only 13 African countries have honoured their pledge to invest at least 10 per cent of public funds in agriculture as foreseen under the Maputo Declaration of 2003. “If all [countries] that have pledged could make good on their promise, public funding for agriculture across Africa will rise from US$12bn (the amount allocated in 2014) to US$40bn,” notes the publication, unveiled at the ongoing AGRF.

To achieve the goals of Feed Africa, AfDB will invest US$2.4bn of its resources annually over the ten-year period of the strategy. The bank will use these resources to leverage additional funding to meet the balance (of between US$30bn to US$40bn) needed annually to finance the strategy, including substantial increases in private and commercial bank financing.

The AASR 2016 said private-sector investment in agriculture is critical, and is needed in all aspects of the agricultural value chain, including production, processing, marketing and transport.

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