By Jorge Joaquim
The African Development Bank is currently working with other partners to design a pan-African Private Equity Fund for Agriculture, FAFINA, the AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina revealed on Tuesday.
FAFINA – Fund for Agricultural Finance in Africa, should help African agricultural systems to become modern, integrated, and well-supported to achieve production and processing of food and agricultural products, and farm inputs, at scale.
Talking on Tuesday when he presented the keynote address during a virtual ceremony to mark the 10th Anniversary of the Sahel Capital, Adesina said Africa should end being a supplier of raw materials by developing competitive national and regional agricultural value chains.
“Experiences from Sahel Capital on the FAFIN Fund will help as we now scale up interventions to support small and medium sized food and agribusiness companies across Africa,” he adding that agriculture is Africa’s number one comparative advantage and that transforming agriculture is the fastest way to create wealth and jobs in the continent.
“We must have chocolate factories, we must have garment and textile factories, dairy factories, and meat processing factories.
“The youth must be encouraged and supported to move into agriculture as a business to create greater value and wealth for the sector, driven by their innovations and business acumen” he said, “I am impressed with the large numbers of youth now moving into agriculture”.
The Bank has provided $406 million to support 23,000 young agripreneurs in 14 countries.
Just last week, the Bank supported $ 120,000 cash prize awards for dynamic youth-owned agribusinesses powering innovations across the agricultural value chains.