ICIEC invests $32.3bn in Sub-Saharan Africa

By Favour Nnabugwu
The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) has invested $32.3bn of transactions for its Sub-Saharan African members since 2015.
The sectors the organisation is involved in include climate action, renewable energy, food security, healthcare provision, infrastructure and industry; and reinsurance capacity.
Cumulatively, over 28 years ICIEC has insured $106.34bn in trade and investment, which includes $85.64bn in supporting exports and imports, and $20.7bn in foreign direct investment for all its 49 member states.
In 2021, ICIEC insured $9.797bn in trade and investment, which include $7.556bn in supporting exports and imports, and $2.241bn in support of FDI. Business insured for sub-Saharan Africa totalled $3.768bn.
In many African states, ICIEC effectively acts as the export credit agency of the countries involved.
The Chief Executive Officer of ICIEC  Oussama Kaissi is busy criss-crossing Africa – whether, for example, addressing the AfDB’s Dakar summit, the Feed Africa: Food Sovereignty and Resilience forum under the patronage of President Macky Sall of Senegal, attending meetings of the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Programme in Tunis, or signing MoUs with Afreximbank in Cairo, and disbursing lines of financing for banks in Mozambique, West and North Africa and Uganda.
ICIEC, which is a member of the multilateral Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, is involved in several landmark initiatives with African partners in 2023. These are centred around making transactions and projects “bankable” through de-risking tools; mobilising private capital and sharing risks through cooperating with peer partners.
“Our priorities,” explains Kaissi, “are upscaling operations by widening access to trade finance supported by credit insurance; and supporting projects in strategic sectors with high developmental impact in member countries.”
The focus, he says, is especially on those sectors creating jobs and fostering technology and knowledge transfer. “Given market demand, we see ICIEC getting increasingly involved in healthcare, social and transportation infrastructure, renewable energy, food security and climate mitigation sectors.”
As such, ICIEC is expanding its regional presence through dedicated country management offices, the latest of which is in Cairo. Egypt is a major beneficiary of ICIEC financing and underwriting, totalling $7.6bn to date.
Kaissi is under no illusion of the enormity of the task ahead given the huge disparity between the economies of its African member states and the underdeveloped credit and political risk insurance ecosystems.
According to the WTO, there is currently a $1.7trn gap in trade finance globally. In Africa, this amounts to a $450bn trade finance opportunity, of which the current gap is around $80bn.
Given the risks related to sectors such as agriculture, agri-business and food production in developing countries, the supply of trade finance is inevitably limited. Bank trade finance has carved out selected market niches, but it is nowhere near in promoting food self-sufficiency, import substitution and increased exports.
“Developing countries,” maintains Kaissi, “often have problems attracting requisite levels of inward private FDI flows, partly because projects are often deemed not bankable.
“Projects involving climate adaptation and food security present even bigger challenges for private investors because of various risks.
“Private sector development and engagement,” he says, “is one of the main pillars of our strategy. This requires credit enhancement that insurers such as ICIEC are well positioned to do through their sustainability policies.
“Embedding commercial opportunities and helping corporates and banks make a material difference to support positive development outcomes is something that risk mitigation tools can facilitate,”
Comprehensive private sector network
ICIEC has one of the most comprehensive private sector networks, to which it regularly allocates lines of financing to local banks either directly, through specialised investors or through Murabaha (cost-plus financing) syndications.
The challenge is to dramatically upscale these activities to also promote gender inclusion by improving access to trade finance for women entrepreneurs and small and rural farmers.
A committed Afrophile, Kaissi strongly believes in Africa’s ability to navigate its own development agenda based on African values, expertise, domestic investment.
“‘Made-in-Africa’ and ‘Africa Feeds Itself’ solutions,” he maintains, “are very important for ICIEC. Our mandate is clear – promoting intra-member trade and investment through the provision of our unique de-risking solutions, credit enhancement, guarantees and reinsurance; capacity building, technical expertise and training, guided by the development agendas of our member states.”
ICIEC does this through bilateral arrangements. multilateral cooperation and through partnerships with peer institutions and stakeholders.
In recent months these have included important initiatives under the AATB Programme, the Africa Co-Guarantee Platform, and through MoUs signed with various organisations including Afreximbank and Africa Finance Corporation.
Partnerships are at the core of ICIEC’s strategy going forward. As the insurance pillar lead of Arab-Africa Trade Bridges Programme, it is spearheading the establishment of the Arab-Africa Guarantee Fund (AAGF), expected to come on stream in autumn 2023.
Creating scalable structures
“The aim of AAGF,” says Kaissi, “is to provide a scalable structure that aims at mobilising financial resources and risk mitigation capacity to support trade and investment in Arab and African countries.”
The Umbrella Fund comprises three sub-funds: an Arab-Africa Green Facility, an Arab-Africa Food Security Facility and an Arab-Africa Health Facility, each of which may attract additional partners interested in the respective sector. Currently, work is underway in raising seed capital, finalising the business plan, and developing the investment pipeline.
ICIEC has closed $5.6bn worth of transactions to date under the AATB Programme. In 2022, it facilitated $400m trade finance transactions with Afreximbank and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) for the import of strategic goods and commodities of several African countries.
ICIEC also underwrote four other projects to the tune of €24m including a Murabaha syndication led by ITFC for STEG Tunisia to finance commodity imports; two Murabaha syndications totalling $225m in favour of the Egyptian Ministry of Finance for the import of foodstuffs; and a $63m cover for Afreximbank to insure LC confirmations with participating banks in Nigeria and Senegal for the import of essential commodities.
Africa’s food security, climate action, infrastructure and health system challenges are huge and fraught with multiple risks which necessitates in-built credit enhancement and risk mitigation, including for new instruments such as Green Sukuk and bonds. Here a potential gamechanger could be ICIEC’s Sukuk Insurance Policy (SIP), whose maiden underwriting is being rolled out for an energy transition project in Sharjah.
According to Kaissi, SIP is a credit enhancement and third-party guarantee aimed at promoting sovereign domestic issuances by ICIEC member states, especially those rated below investment grade and consequently attracting less private capital for sustainable development projects.
ICIEC is also involved in the IsDB Group’s latest initiative – a $10.54bn comprehensive Food Security Response Programme (FSRP) to assist with the ongoing food crisis and support future food resilience against climate impact in its 57 member states, of which 27 are from Africa. ICIEC has committed an initial $500m in political risk insurance and credit insurance cover, of which about $127m has recently been approved, including for an agri-project in Uganda.
AfDB raises $1m technical grant for GMFA to Nigeria, 6 other countries

By Favour Nnabugwu



The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) of the African Development Bank Group will provide a $1 million technical assistance grant to the Green Mobility Facility for Africa (GMFA).to Nigeria, 6 other countries.

GMFA provides technical assistance and investment capital to accelerate and expand private sector investments in sustainable transport solutions in seven countries: Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and South Africa.

The SEFA grant will support the creation of an enabling environment for Electric vehicles (EVs), the design of EV business models and guidelines for the public and private sector, the development of a bankable pipeline of e-mobility projects, regional coordination, and knowledge sharing amongst other upstream activities to help catalyse follow-on private sector financing during the subsequent investment phase of the GMFA.

“Mobility is a fundamental lifeline that connects people to critical services, jobs, education, and opportunities,” said Nnenna Nwabufo the Director-General of the Bank’s East Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office. “The African Development Bank is committed to building a sustainable and more climate-resilient future by catalysing private investment in low-carbon solutions.

We believe GMFA will have a tremendous impact on the African market by accelerating the shift to green mobility, reducing over 2,175,000 carbon dioxide equivalent tons of greenhouse gas emissions and facilitating the creation of 19,000 full-time jobs.”

Mobility is a fundamental lifeline that connects people to critical services, jobs, education, and opportunities,” said Nnenna Nwabufo the Director-General of the Bank’s East Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office. “The African Development Bank is committed to building a sustainable and more climate-resilient future by catalysing private investment in low-carbon solutions. We believe GMFA will have a tremendous impact on the African market by accelerating the shift to green mobility, reducing over 2,175,000 carbon dioxide equivalent tons of greenhouse gas emissions and facilitating the creation of 19,000 full-time jobs.”

“Future demand for mobility solutions and vehicle ownership is expected to increase with rapid urbanisation, population growth, and economic development. We are delighted to receive this support from AfDB.

We see this as a vote of confidence in our efforts to shift to e-mobility solutions and advance Rwanda’s transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Clare Akamanzi, Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board. Rwanda is one of seven pilot countries for GMFA.

African Development Fund helps create jobs for youths in Malawi

By Favour Nnabugwu




Thousands of youths in Malawi have gained employment and some have even created jobs for their peers, thanks to a project supported by the African Development Bank

The Jobs for Youth in Malawi project implemented between 2017 and 2022 has helped develop an entrepreneurial culture among young people, from primary school to university according to the project completion report (https://bit.ly/40ijzXA) released by the bank on 24 January 2023.

The African Development Fund, the concessional lending arm of the African Development Bank Group, had provided a loan of $10.45 million and a grant of $1.73 million to Malawi for the project’s implementation.

The objective was to improve the employability of the country’s youth women and men by providing them with decent work, thereby promoting their economic empowerment. It also aimed to help them develop sustainable entrepreneurship.

The Jobs for Youth in Malawi project focused on both training and technical assistance to training institutes. In addition, the initiative helped to provide practical training for out-of-school youths and to set up an internship programme for youths.

By the end of the project, a total of 14,933 young people were employed. Some of them went on to create jobs for others, and provide internships and vocational training through the business incubation programme in targeted sectors such as manufacturing, information and communication technology, agriculture and small-scale mining.

These training programmes have resulted in the creation of 5,276 businesses. A B2B trade facilitation training programme for 110 young people delivered, 30 young people signed business deals to be supplying horticulture and other agricultural produce to large supermarkets and other agro-produce off-takers.

According to the African Development Bank report, project funds, including vocational entrepreneurship training, were reallocated to the construction of four technical colleges for training in the selected sectors—mining, manufacturing, ICT and agriculture.

The construction of technical colleges in Ngara, Mbandira, Neno and Naminjiwa has been completed. Furniture and equipment have been installed, and the colleges are now operational. At the time of the project’s conclusion, two of the four colleges had already enrolled a total of 225 youth, 114 youth in the garment sector and 111 in agriculture.

AfDB, Canadian Govt set special for medium side, SMEs

By Favour Nnabugwu



African Development Bank Group and the Government of Canada have established a new special fund to support Africa’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the agriculture sector.

The Agri-food SME Catalytic Financing Mechanism aims to catalyze and de-risk investment for agriculture SMEs, as well as strengthen agricultural value chains and improve food security across the continent. The two organisations made the announcement at a press event on 27 January held during the Dakar 2 Africa Food Summit.

“At the Africa Food Summit, we have seen a strong commitment to addressing the financing gap for SMEs and creating an environment that encourages private sector investments in climate-smart, gender-oriented agricultural solutions,” Dr. Beth Dunford, the Bank’s Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development told reporters. “The Agri-food SME Catalytic Financing Mechanism will help unlock opportunities for these businesses in Africa, particularly for women and youth,” she said.

Canada contributed CAD 100 million ($73.5 million) to fund the mechanism, which is hosted by the African Development Bank. Small and medium agri-businesses produce, process or transport around 65% of Africa’s food, yet they face a financing gap of more than $180 million annually.

The mechanism will provide concessional finance and technical assistance to financial intermediaries including agribusinesses, micro-finance institutions and impact funds. The finance and assistance aim to enable the intermediaries to make loans to agri-SMEs working with women, and businesses that build resilience to climate change.

The Agri-food SME Catalytic Financing Mechanism will add to the Bank Group Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa’s (AFAWA) goal of closing the $42 billion access to finance gap for women-led SMEs and to accelerate their growth.

The Mechanism represents the Bank’s first blended financing facility to specifically target SMEs operating across the agricultural value chain. It mobilizes public funds to de-risk agricultural financing, crowds in support to make SMEs more bankable, and collaborates with providers of capital to make banks more ‘agriculture-friendly’.

“The best way to build up food security in Africa is to work with small-and-medium-sized agriculture and food businesses. Through a shared commitment between Canada and the African Development Bank, the Agri-food SME Catalytic Financing Mechanism will advance resilient growth and climate adaptation. It will also help African SMEs to pursue climate smart models, and support women by shifting attitudes that perpetuate gender gaps in financial inclusion,” said Anita Vandenbeld,

Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Minister of International Development.
Structured as multi-donor trust fund, the Mechanism is open to and welcomes the participation and contribution of other development partners.

By co-financing with the African Development Bank’s financial instruments, the Mechanism will increase the quantum of attractive capital de-risking agri-SMEs and leverage more private sector finance toward impactful agri-food sector investments.

AfDB approves $50m, €50m Credit for ECOWAS EBID for food security, agricultural value chains

By Favour Nnabugwu



The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved a dual-currency Trade Finance Line of Credit for ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) comprising $50 million and EUR 50 million to enhance food and boost agricultural value chains in the region

An additional co-financing of $30 million for the credit line will come through the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF) from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).

EBID will use the three-and-a-half-year facility to provide direct financing to local corporates. Part of the facility will also be channelled through select local banks for on-lending to key sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, and transport.

The ultimate beneficiaries will be Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), local enterprises cooperatives and farmers in the West Africa region.

tutions like EBID are key partners of the African Development Bank and serve markets and client segments critical to the overall development of the continent.

“They play an important role in promoting trade and regional integration. This is the Bank’s first financing support to EBID, and we look forward to an even stronger partnership in the near future,” he said.

The Bank’s Head of Trade Finance, Lamin Drammeh, stressed the critical need for such support in the region. “We are excited to work with EBID to increase access to trade finance in the ECOWAS region with a special focus on the agriculture value chain, SMEs and women-owned businesses”, he said.

“Regional institutions like EBID complement the Bank’s efforts to bridge the trade finance gap in Africa and serve as an effective conduit for channeling much-needed funds to underserved countries and sectors”, he added.

The African Development Bank estimates the annual trade finance gap for Africa to be around $81 billion. Compared to multinational corporates and large local corporates, SMEs and other domestic firms have greater difficulty in accessing trade finance.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

Africa to beat other countries with 4% GDP in 2023, 2024

By Favour Nnabugwu
Africa is set to outperform the rest of the world in economic growth over the next two years, with real gross domestic product (GDP) averaging around 4 percent in 2023 and 2024.
This is higher than projected global averages of 2.7 percent and 3.2 percent, the African Development Bank Group said in Africa’s Macroeconomic Performance and Outlook report for the region, released in Abidjan last week.
With a comprehensive regional growth analysis, the report shows that all the continent’s five regions remain resilient with a steady outlook for the medium-term, despite facing significant headwinds due to global socio-economic shocks. It also identified potential risks and called for robust monetary and fiscal measures, backed by structural policies, to address them.
The Macroeconomic Performance and Outlook report will be released in the first and third quarters of each year. It complements the bank’s existing annual African Economic Outlook report, which focuses on key emerging policy themes relevant to the continent’s development.
The report shows that estimated average growth of real GDP in Africa slowed to 3.8 percent in 2022, from 4.8 percent in 2021 amid significant challenges following the Covid-19 shock and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Despite the economic slowdown, 53 of Africa’s 54 countries posted positive growth. All the five regions of the continent remain resilient with a steady outlook for the medium-term.
However, the report sends a cautionary note on the outlook following current global and regional risks. These risks including soaring food and energy prices, tightening global financial conditions, and the associated increase in domestic debt service costs.
Climate change with its damaging impact on domestic food supply and the potential risk of policy reversal in countries holding elections in 2023—pose equally challenging threats.
The report advocates bold policy actions at national, regional, and global scales to help African economies mitigate the compounding risks.
In remarks during the launch, African Development Bank Group President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said the release of the new report came at a time when African economies, faced with significant headwinds, were proving their resilience.
“With 54 countries at different stages of growth, different economic structures, and diverse resource endowments, the pass-through effects of global shocks always differ by region and by country. Slowing global demand, tighter financial conditions, and disrupted supply chains therefore had differentiated impacts on African economies,” he said.
 “Despite the confluence of multiple shocks, growth across all five African regions was positive in 2022 and the outlook for 2023 to 2024 is projected to be stable.”
Niale Kaba, Minister of Planning and Development of Côte d’Ivoire, said: “The release of this report by our bank, the African Development Bank Group, at this time of the year is an excellent opportunity for Africa and its global partners.
We need these regular updates to assess our countries’ macroeconomic performance and prospects. This reliable information will help decision-making and risk management for potential investors in Africa.”
Africa’s pre-Covid-19 top five performing economies are projected to grow by more than 5.5 percent on average in 2023-2024 and to reclaim their position among the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies. These countries are Rwanda (7.9 percent), Côte d’Ivoire (7.1 percent), Benin (6.4 percent), Ethiopia (6.0 percent), and Tanzania (5.6 percent).
Other African countries are projected to grow by more than 5.5 percent in the 2023-24 period. They are the Democratic Republic of Congo (6.8 percent), The Gambia (6.4 percent), Mozambique (6.5 percent), Niger (9.6 percent), Senegal (9.4 percent), and Togo (6.3 percent).
At the launch, economist Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University commended the report which he said showed that African economies are growing and growing consistently.
Sachs, who is also United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ Advocate for Sustainable Development Goals, said: “Africa can and will rise to growth of 7 percent or more per year consistently in the coming decades.
 What we’ll see, building on the resiliency we see in this report, is a real acceleration of Africa’s sustainable development so that Africa will be the fast-growing part of the world economy. Africa is the place to invest.”
Africa spends $75bn yearly to import over 100m metric tonnes of cereal 

Africa spends &75bn yearly to import over 100m metric tonnes of cereal
By Favour Nnabugwu
Africa is said to spend a whopping $75billion yearly to import over 100 million metric tons of cereals alone
President of the Africa Development Bank, Mr Akinwunmi Adesina revealed this at the just concluded Dakar Summit, Senegal
Adesina said the continent does not produce enough food to feed its people and is overly dependent on food imports, which are themselves subject to volatile world prices and inflationary pressures.
Although, agriculture he admitted, is one of the main economic sectors and sources of employment in Africa, current production practices are too often outdated, small scale and unsuited to the demands of markets and a fast-growing population.
Food production continues to rely heavily on small-scale and near subsistence producers; whereas as Adesina has said, agriculture should be viewed as a business.
To improve farmers’ productivity and incomes, reduce post-harvest losses and increase agricultural output, and strengthen agro-food value chains,  he said the AfDB is focusing on providing modern technologies, quality seeds and inputs, modernizing agricultural tools, setting up standard processing infrastructures and adding value.
The aim is to move from traditional subsistence agriculture to a modern and competitive African agro-industrial sector that can feed the entire African continent and even compete on international markets.
Speaking on the rising food prices in the world, noted that said impact on households in Africa is serious exacerbating poverty. In sub-Saharan Africa, households spend up to 40 percent of their budget on food compared to 17 percent in developed economies.
According to him, “65 percent of the world’s remaining arable land is in Africa, which also has the most youthful and dynamic population of any continent”
All these, he said are some of the reasons the African Development Bank believes Africa is capable of feeding not only itself but the world’s 9 billion people by 2050.
“The African Development Bank views agriculture and agribusiness as a strategic priority for several reasons.
Securing food sovereignty the right of states to determine their own agricultural and food policies is critical to African countries overall economic and social development.”
“Recent external shocks, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, further demonstrated that Africa remains over-reliant on imports of food staples and agricultural inputs”
“Agriculture is also the mainstay of most African economies and a major employer of Africans”
Africa food, agricultural market to hit $1trn by 2030

By Favour Nnabugwu
The African Development Bank, AfDB has projected a market $1 trillion  increase yearly for Africa’s food and agriculture market by 2030.
The market is presently running at $280 billion per year but in achieving this ambitious target will require significant new investments and the removal of barriers to agricultural development.
President of the AfDB, Mr. Akinwunmi Adesina disclose this in Dakar Summit that much of the new investment in raising agricultural productivity, supporting infrastructure, climate smart agricultural systems and other improvements all along the food value chain will come from the private sector.
The African Development Bank offers support to all actors in the sector, regardless of their size: small farmers, traders, producers and distributors of inputs, commercial banks and industrialists.
 In addition to providing the necessary tools and know-how, the aim is to provide capital to all players in the agro-industrial value chains, enabling them to invest and develop with best practices.
In as much as the sector has its growth advantages so are obstacles to the development of it.
“The obstacles to the development of the private agro-industrial sector are both structural small size of the majority of farms, lack of infrastructure and financing and cyclical price volatility, disruption of supply chains, climate shocks”
Adesina said that a major obstacle to the development of private actors is the lack of credit financing, on the order of $27 billion to $65 billion per year, according to several studies.
“This is largely due to the perceived risk of investing in agriculture. To address this and attract private investors, the Bank is designing and deploying risk reduction tools.
Ukrainian/Russian War: AfDB sets put $1.5bn Emergency Food Production Facility for Africa – Adesina

…34 countries, 20 milion farmers to benefit


By Favour Nnabugwu



The African Development Bank (AfDB) has  set aside $1.5 billion  Emergency Food Production Facility to support food sufficiency in Africa.

The President of the AfDB, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, during a courtesy visit to the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Monday, noted that the facility became imperative as a result of the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia which had seen prices of wheat and maize skyrocket.

Adesina added that the emergency food production facility would be supporting 34 countries, with 20 million farmers producing roughly 38 million metric tons of food valued at $12b.

He expressed confidence that Africa would not have a food crisis as a result of the war in Ukraine.

Adesina, while also noting that a Feed Africa Summit in Dakar, Senegal, which had about 34 heads of state in attendance, including President Muhammadu Buhari.of Nigeria, was able to mobilize $30b in support of food and agriculture delivery compact of countries in Africa.

“Because of the war in Ukraine by Russia which actually sent prices of wheat and maize skyrocketing, all over the world, we have global inflation because of that and therefore, the impact of that is going to be quite serious for our houses, particularly, low income households.

“The African Development Bank has put in place immediately a $1.5b Emergency Food Production Facility that is currently now supporting 34 countries, with 20 million farmers to produce roughly 38 million metric tons of food valued at $12b.

“So, I am pretty confident we are not going to have a food crisis as a result of the war in Ukraine, but, we cannot stop there, am just coming here having completed the Feed Africa Summit in Dakar, that I co-organized with His Excellency, President of Senegal.

” It was a hugely successful summit, we were able to mobilize $30b in support of food and agriculture delivery compact of countries that will allow African countries to be totally self sufficient in food. In 3 to 5 years, we should be done with feeding ourselves, we should be actually exporting food and several other things,” he said.

While commending Governor Dapo Abiodun for the Agro Cargo Airport project which is set to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2023, the AFDB President noted that having a cargo airport in the state would facilitate the development of agricultural value chain in Ogun.

“The Cargo Airport is an excellent idea, because when you produce agricultural commodities, you would not only be able to store it, you have to be able to process it and you have to be able to transport it.

And I think having a cargo airport would just facilitate the development of agricultural value chain right here in Ogun State, it is a very very excellent idea and I have always supported it from the start,” Adesina submitted

AfDB engages over 40m farmers to produce 120m tonnes of food by 2025

By Favour Nnabugwu



The African Development Bank (AfDB) says that it has engaged more than 40 million farmers across the continent to produce 120 million tonnes of food by 2025.

The Bank’s Chief Economist, Prof. Kevin Chika Urama, discloes this in a chat with Nigerian journalists.

Prof. Kevin, decries the continent’s annual imports of over 100 million metric tonness of cereals alone at the cost of $75 billion.

He notes that recent external shocks, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, further demonstrated that Africa remains over-reliant on imports of food staples and agricultural inputs.

” Rising world food prices have a serious impact on households in Africa, exacerbating poverty.

“In sub-Saharan Africa, households spend up to 40% of their budget on food (compared to 17% in developed economies),” he said

He confidently says that the bank is on the move to change this narrative of overdependence on food imports from outside the continent.

“To improve farmers’ productivity and incomes, reduce post-harvest losses and increase agricultural output, and strengthen agro-food value chains, the Bank is focusing on providing modern technologies, quality seeds and inputs, modernizing agricultural tools, setting up standard processing infrastructures and adding value,” he said.

He says that the aim is to move from traditional subsistence agriculture to a modern and competitive African agro-industrial sector that can feed the entire African continent and even compete on international markets.

His words:” A vital element of the African Development Bank’s efforts to boost food production and agriculture in a climate-smart manner is its Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) platform.

TAAT has delivered heat-tolerant wheat varieties, drought-tolerant maize varieties, high-yield rice varieties and other climate-smart certified seeds to millions of Africa’s smallholder farmers

Ethiopia in particular has notched significant benefits as a result of TAAT.

Following the successful rollout of heat-tolerant wheat varieties in Ethiopia, average wheat yields increased from 2 tonnes per hectare to 4 tonnes.

As a result, Ethiopia did not import wheat in 2022 and expects to export wheat to its neighbors in 2023.

TAAT has mobilized investments of more than $800 million in the agricultural value chains of 21 African countries since its inception in 2018.

It has also mobilized $500 million in co-financing from the World Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Islamic Development Bank, the Global Environment Facility, and other organizations.

In July 2022, the Bank Board approved an additional $27.41 million for ‘TAAT II,’ which will increase the productivity and incomes of farming households by giving them access to climate-resilient technologies in 36 low-income African countries by 2025.

TAAT-II will rely on a market-based model in partnership with the private sector to spread technologies and services (seeds, fertilizers, extension) on a larger scale.
To take advantage of the savannah, which covers 400 million hectares in Africa, a specific subprogram, ‘TAAT-S’.

The aim is to take advantage of these vast expanses by growing maize and soya competitively for the poultry industry – demand is high throughout the continent.

After a pilot project launched in Ghana in 2018, TAAT-S has been deployed in Côte d’Ivoire since 2021, followed by Congo-Brazzaville, Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia by 2025. “