ETHIOPIA – The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and the Government of Ethiopia have signed a grant agreement worth US$47 million, to be channelled towards the Productivity Enhancement to Support Agro Industrial Parks and Youth Employment Projects.
According to the development organization, the industrial parks and youth project will see the establishment of irrigation and water management infrastructure around the Integrated Agro-Industrial Parks.
This is aimed to offer opportunities for graduate “agri-preneurs” to establish agro-related, commercially viable businesses.
Valued at US$102 million, the venture is being co-financed with the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), with a US$5.25 million contribution by the Ethiopian government.
Under the scheme, 12,607 ha of irrigated land would be developed and about 3,000 youths will receive both agronomic/agriculture and business development training.
The bank financing is expected to cover 4,607 ha and BADEA financing another 8,000 ha.
The irrigation infrastructure will strengthen water users’ associations; protect the water-shed areas around the irrigation schemes; go towards training farmers and youth agri-preneurs on soil and water conservation practices, agricultural production, value addition and marketing; and support established youth SMEs to access credit.
“By enhancing economic ties through improved economic competitiveness, the project will contribute towards harnessing regional peace and stability and addressing regional fragility.”Dr. Abdul Kamara – Deputy Director General, East Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office of the African Development Bank
The project will be implemented over a five-year period (2021-2026) under the supervision of the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy and the country’s Irrigation Development Commission.
“By enhancing economic ties through improved economic competitiveness, the project will contribute towards harnessing regional peace and stability and addressing regional fragility,” said Dr. Abdul Kamara, Deputy Director General, East Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office of the African Development Bank.
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group approved the funding on 7 July 2021, to be issued through the bank’s concessional lending window, the African Development Fund.
In April, Ethiopia received US$31.2m grant from the Fund, to boost the US$48m Multi-sectoral Approach for Stunting Reduction Project (MASReP).
MASReP aims to increase access to nutritional services for children under-five years, by improving health services, availing more diverse and nutritious food, and improving knowledge, attitude and practices on feeding, care and hygiene.
The project targets forty districts or woredas in the country’s Amhara and Tigray regions.
To spearhead the initiative, the program has three programmatic components i.e., climate-proofed infrastructure development for effective service delivery; livelihood support, production and promotion of nutritious foods; and strengthening institutional systems and capacity building.
It is a demonstration of the Bank’s efforts to accelerate the implementation of its Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy as well as operationalize the African Nutrition Accountability Score Card (ANASC) launched in 2019.
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