AfDB commits $1.5bn to improve agro-products’ exports

By Clement Alphonsus
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Over $1.5bn has been contributed by the African Development Bank towards boosting the export of value-added agricultural products through the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones initiative.

This was disclosed by the President of the Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina at the 2023 Africa Investment Forum Market Place in Marrakesh, Morocco, themed “Unlocking Africa’s Value Chains.”

Adesina explained the significance of exporting value-added agricultural products in Africa’s wealth creation during the inauguration of the Alliance for SAPZs.

According to him, “Africa must end the export of raw agricultural commodities. We must recognise that the fastest way to poverty is via the export of raw commodities, while the highway to wealth is from the export of value-added products.

“And that is why SAPZs are important. They provide critical infrastructure to support agro-industrial development in Africa.

“Our valued partners include the Islamic Development Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Arab Bank for Economic Development, the European Union, and the Korean Export-Import Bank.

“We are also working with the African Union to support the Common Africa Agro-Parks Programme. Our collective effort has mobilized $1.5bn in support of the establishment of 25 SAPZs in 11 African countries."

Also, he stressed the need for countries to enhance resources, partnerships, and alliances to expand Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones across Africa, leveraging the opportunities presented by the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.

He said, “The Alliance will raise funds through various investment windows for project preparation, project development and construction, and financing for tenant companies."