AFRICA – The African Development Bank (AfDB) in Nigeria met a private sector consortium from China to help attract investment through partnerships in the development of special agro-Industrial processing zones (SAPZs) in Nigeria and across Africa.
According to the Bank, discussions centred on Chinese direct investments and partnerships with Nigerian agribusinesses as well as ventures with Nigerian state governments and agribusinesses in the development of agro-Industrial parks.
The Bank delegation, led by Professor Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, the senior special adviser on industrialisation to AfDB’s President, paid a courtesy call to Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
“Nigeria has the potential to become the food basket of the world; but this depends on our ability to deploy the right technology.
“Our partnership with you allows us to harness the knowledge and skills to realise this potential. We work with the African Development Bank at the highest levels to ensure that investors face no constraints in doing business,” Osinbajo said.
The Bank reiterated its commitment to developing SAPZs in line with its Feed Africa Strategy – which aims to turn the massive natural endowment of the sector into competitive advantages that create wealth and sustainable agribusiness jobs for African youth.
The strategy will also guarantee food security and inclusive growth by involving more women and youth, and promoting improved resilience to climate variability and shocks.
“The SAPZ is a model that requires the full commitment of all levels of government and for this reason the federal and state governments are actively involved in the planning and implementation of the programme”. Prof. Oyelaran-Oyeyinka noted.
SAPZs will radically transform Africa’s agriculture into a business-oriented and commercially viable sector that guarantees food self-sufficiency and puts an end to food insecurity, malnutrition and other related challenges.
The AfDB has also been in the forefront towards ensuring Africa enhances food security especially in times of climate change.
AfDB, at the recently held Africa Food Security Leadership Dialogue (AFSLD), joined key development partners including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Bank to tackle food insecurity in Africa.
Held in Kigali, Rwanda, the event focused on strengthening and accelerating support to Africa’s food security programs and helping African agriculture adapt to climate change through increased partnerships and coordination.
During the meeting, the stakeholders pointed out the need of working together to increase access to technology for the farmers, enable better financing, and ensure that agriculture is part of the climate change solution.