The 2019 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group will be held from 11-14 June 2019, in Malabo, Republic of Equatorial Guinea. Find out more
Tunis, Tunisia, 25 September 2009 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group will participate in the 4th Annual Humanitarian Development Summit scheduled to take place from September 29-30, 2009, in Nairobi, Kenya.
The event will bring together government officials and key decision-makers in the aid and development community. This year’s event will focus, in particular, on investing in African infrastructure and agriculture, both a priority for the AfDB. At the event, the Bank will lay special emphasis on agricultural investment in Africa. Africa’s agriculture has a huge potential given the continent’s good climatic conditions. However, low agricultural productivity and high post-harvest losses, as well as poor infrastructure, especially in rural areas, are just some of the challenges and constraints the continent’s agricultural sector is facing.
According to AfDB agriculture manager, Chiji Ojukwu, the food crisis has clearly indicated that the quantity and quality of investment in Africa’s agricultural sector were inadequate. Not only were donors reducing their assistance to the sector, the assistance was also not effective. During the event, Mr. Ojukwu will underscore, on behalf of the AfDB, the need to invest in the continent’s agricultural sector. This situation calls for all African member countries and partners to mobilize additional resources in support of agriculture with more results-based interventions within the framework of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program (CAADP). Most importantly, they should honour their commitment to the Maputo Declaration to allocate above 10% of national budgets to agricultural and rural development.
Funding for agriculture has always been one of the key strategic priorities of the AfDB. Between 1967 and 2008 the AfDB approved a total of 3,276 loans and grants, totaling UA 44.75 billion, approximately USD 70 billion; with the agricultural sector netting 16.1 per cent. In terms of emergency and humanitarian assistance, the Bank continues to support victims of natural disasters across the continent whenever they occur. Between 2004 and 2008, Bank support to emergency/humanitarian assistance totaled UA 20.3 million, around USD 32 million. In 2008 alone, the AfDB provided a record number of emergency humanitarian assistance totaling UA 2.97 million, around USD 4.65 million, including the control and eradication of avian flu in its regional member countries.
The development of agriculture should get the attention it deserves and a plan for agricultural recovery needs to be part and parcel of any plans for financial recovery. The critical role of regional financial institutions, including the AfDB becomes imperative in this drive, and should be fully recognized and realized. The Bank’s Medium Term Strategy is focused on facilitating new agricultural development initiatives.
Guided by its Medium Term Strategy, the Bank, through the African Food Crisis Response (AFCR), is projected to avail about UA 1.4 billion, around USD 2.19 billion, in the medium to long term to address issues of high food prices and food insecurity. The Bank has already approved projects in the region of UA 219.61 million, around USD 344 million in 2008, and committed about UA 215.3 million, approximately USD 337 million, in 2009 in support of Africa’s agricultural sector.
AfDB agricultural investments are mainly implemented through infrastructure priority areas, such as expended agricultural and rural infrastructure, including irrigation and water mobilization, rural and farm access roads, livestock and fisheries.
The Bank’s Public Sector manages a portfolio of about 230 Operations with ongoing commitments of about USD 3 billion in 30 African countries. This excludes investment by the institution’s Private Sector Department.
AfDB is currently promoting special agriculture initiatives such as:
As Africa’s leading development finance institution, the African Development Bank is in a unique position to play the role of policy advocacy on the continent, given its location on the African landscape, its mandate and its expertise.