Agribusiness key to Africa’s economic growth – AfDB

The African Development Bank has said there was the need for collaboration to
transform Africa’s agriculture and agribusiness in order to achieve long-term wealth creation and prosperity in the continent.

The bank’s President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, in his presentation yesterday in this year’s African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), in Nairobi, Kenya, under the theme: “Seize the Moment: Securing Africa’s Rise through Agricultural Transformation”, said the role of policy in enabling publicprivate partnerships to achieve African agricultural transformation was critical.

“The African Development Bank will work with the governments of its Regional Member Countries to facilitate the creation of an enabling environment needed by local and international private sector to make the necessary investments for Africa’s agricultural transformation”, Adesina noted.

Deliberations at the AGRF, which end on Friday would also focus on agriculture infrastructure, in which AfDB Director for Agriculture and Agro-Industry, Chiji Ojukwu, 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 Agri-Business 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 ‘agripreneurs’ and assist to finance their bankable business plans.

Agriculture is one of the Bank’s five key priority areas, also referred to as the High 5s. By 2015, the Bank’s Feed Africa Strategy will, among other things, see about 320 million additional people enjoying access to adequate calories and nutrients, up to 130 million people lifted out of poverty, representing 25 per cent of the estimated 550 million currently living below the poverty line, substitution of about $110 billion worth of Africa’s agricultural imports, and a doubling of the continent’s market value for select processed commodities.

The strategy follows a highlevel Ministerial Conference on “Feeding Africa – An Action Plan for Transforming Agriculture in Africa” organized by the Bank in Dakar, Senegal, in October 2015.

The meeting mapped out a longterm action plan to unlock Africa’s agricultural and agribusiness potential.

It would be recalled that he Bank had consistently reiterated the critical role of the private sector in agriculture and agribusiness