USAID unlocks agribusiness financing in Africa by supporting Aceli Africa with US$30m

AFRICA – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in collaboration with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the IKEA Foundation have committed to support Aceli Africa, an innovative program that incentivizes banks to lend to agribusinesses with US$30m.

With this commitment, Aceli Africa will unlock an additional US$700 million by 2025 for 750 agribusinesses in Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.

Through Aceli Africa, banks will make loans available to small and medium-sized agribusinesses that reach underserved populations, with the goal of reaching one million smallholder farmers.

The program will also inject new data, boosting government and investor confidence in African agriculture, in order to jumpstart lending to this undercapitalized sector for decades to follow.

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“Investments like this one advance the mission of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative to end global poverty and hunger by creating employment for millions of people across Africa.”

USAID

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) account for 60 percent of agricultural production and trade in emerging economies in sub-Saharan Africa.

However, they face an investment shortfall of up to US$65 billion every year because financial institutions are hesitant to loan money to the sector.

This hinders the growth of African economies and limits people from breaking out of the vicious cycle of poverty and hunger. Closing this gap in financing is key to inclusive growth in Africa and around the world.

“Investments like this one advance the mission of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative to end global poverty and hunger by creating employment for millions of people across Africa, and support Prosper Africa’s goal of promoting a significant increase in two-way trade between the United States and the African continent,” states USAID.

USAID works with the private sector to scale up and sustain long-term financing for commercial enterprises and help countries move beyond the need for foreign assistance.

Recently, the developmental organization issued a five-year US$6 million grant to Kenya to establish a regional Feed the Future Animal Health Innovation Lab.

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The lab will identify interventions to reduce livestock diseases, particularly the deadly cattle disease known as East Coast fever.

It will employ state-of-the-art technologies, such as the genome editing tool known as ‘CRISPR-Cas’, to develop user-friendly pen-side diagnostics and improved vaccines for East Coast fever.

The lab aims not only to deploy animal health interventions but also to track their impacts on people’s livelihoods and health and to help train the next generation of animal health scientists in Africa.

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