ADF: Fragile States and Supporting Agriculture Through Infrastructure Lending, by Sector Operations, Vice President, Kamal Elkheshen

Share |

"The global food crisis has posed a major threat to global food and nutrition security with substantive humanitarian, socio-economic, environmental, developmental, political and security-related consequences. With ADF funds we support the development of a robust agriculture sector that can withstand the effects of crises – focusing our attention on providing the necessary infrastructure for this sector to become an engine of growth and enhanced livelihood.  

Given the importance of infrastructure for Africa’s economic growth and more broadly poverty reduction, the Bank will continue to provide assistance to countries to finance their infrastructure needs, including agricultural and rural infrastructure, particularly rural and community roads, irrigation, storage, processing and market facilities to support the anticipated growth in agricultural production and improve Africa’s competitiveness. Irrigation infrastructure has direct impact on agricultural productivity when it is adequately available and timely supplied along with other factors of production, thereby reducing the adverse impacts of climate change and increasing food crop yields on sustainable basis. Construction work and the marketing systems provide employment at local level, stimulating investment in farming and markets.

Financing requirements for the agriculture sector in Africa have recently been estimated at US$ 8.1 billion annually. The Bank’s indicative pipeline of projects and programs for agriculture amounts to US$ 5.33 billion for the period 2010-2014.

To illustrate, the Bank will over the period 2010-2014:

  • Build modernized irrigation systems to boost production
  • Build or rehabilitate rural access roads to link farmers to markets and reduce post harvest losses; and
  • Promote value addition.

In addition, priority is given to activities in fragile states, such as Liberia and other countries which are emerging from conflict. Liberia has a strong commitment to sound macro economic management and has made good progress in rebuilding Public Financial Management systems and in implementing poverty reduction programs. It has reached the completion point under HIPC and was the first African country to be EITI+ compliant.

We see a strong ADF replenishment as an opportunity to help improve the capacity of the fragile states we work with so that they can help their people fully recover from the effects of the conflict they endured for many years".