June 13, 2024

Over $10 billion provided for agric in past 8-yrs — AfDB

Over $10 billion provided for agric in past 8-yrs — AfDB

AfDB President, Akinwunmi Adesina

By Jimoh Babatunde

The President of the African Development Bank Group, AfDB, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has re-iterated that assuring food security in Africa is top on the agenda of the Bank as close to $10 billion has been provided in support of agriculture in the last eight years.

Speaking at the Chatham House, London on ‘Envisioning Africa’s Economic Prospects’ recently, Dr Akinwumi Adesina said their flagship initiative, Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), has delivered climate-smart agricultural technologies for 13 million farmers.

“Our support of heat-tolerant wheat varieties in Ethiopia turned it into a wheat self-sufficient country in under four years.”

He noted that the African Development Bank is also developing Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones in eleven countries to support agro-industrialization and value addition and development of agricultural value chains.

“This is critical to unlocking the value of the food and agribusiness in Africa worth $1 trillion by 2030.”

Speaking on energy, Adesina explained that Africa still has close to 600 million people without access to electricity.

“Unlocking Africa’s vast renewable energy sources and assuring energy supply, access and security, is central to Africa’s economic prosperity. Africa still has close to 600 million people without access to electricity.”

He said since the African Development Bank launched its New Deal on Energy in 2016, much progress has been made, with the share of the population with electricity expanded from 32% to 57%.

“To expand access to electricity, the African Development Bank is implementing a $20 billion initiative called Desert-to-Power, to develop 10,000 megawatts of electricity from solar across 11 countries to connect 250 million people to electricity.

Adesina added that during the Spring Meetings of the World Bank earlier this year, “the President of the World Bank and I launched a bold joint effort to connect 300 million Africans to electricity by the World Bank and the African Development Bank by 2030.”