The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and Export Trading Group (ETG) marked a significant milestone on May 30 with the signing of a US$ 100 million loan to finance part of the company’s Agricultural Investment Program (IP) in Africa which will promote employment for youths and women, and adopt an integrated value-chain approach that emphasizes access to regional and global markets.

From left to right, Peter Sturmheit, Ousmane Fall, Tonia Kandiero, Birju Patel and Alistair Sinclair

Africa faces a significant food security challenge and continues to depend on food imports to meet ever-growing demand. The continent spent over US$ 35 billion to import food in 2015 and net food imports are projected to increase to more than US$ 110 billion by 2025.

As a Pan-African integrated agricultural production, processing, and trading company, the AfDB believes ETG has the potential and is the right partner for supporting production, storage, transport, processing, logistics and the capacity to maximize synergies and efficiencies at every stage of the value chain continuum.

ETG’s investment program will consist of: (i) Fertilizer projects in  Kenya and Zambia; (ii)  Processing Plants (rice, cashew, maize, sesame, cotton, biscuit) in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Togo, Ethiopia, Benin, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Uganda; (iii)  Multi-commodity warehouses in Burkina Faso, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Niger, Benin, Nigeria, Zambia and Ethiopia; and (iv) Silos in Zimbabwe.

The program is strongly aligned with four of the top five priorities (Hi5s) of the Bank namely Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa. It will significantly contribute not only in improving food production in Africa but most importantly in value addition and the wide distribution of food across the continent using the sponsor’s broad distribution networks.