The Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) project has been endorsed by a coalition of Development Institutions as capable of changing the narrative of African agriculture.
The Institutions pledged their commitments to speed up the programme initiated by the African Development Bank (AfDB) across the continent.
Recall that the AfDB had earlier announced that it was working with other development partners to mobilise about $520 million to co-finance the first phase of SAPZs in Nigeria.
The development partners made this known at the first partnership meeting for agro-industrialisation project on Monday.
The partners present at the meeting include: the African Export-Import (Afrexim) Bank, Industrial Development Corporation, Africa Finance Corporation, and Trade and Development Bank.
The OPEC Fund for International Development; Africa 50; West African Development Bank; Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa; Islamic Development Bank, and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) among others are also in attendance.
Under the leadership of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the institutions have agreed to work together towards the implementation of the SAPZ in Africa.
According to them, the SAPZ project could trigger a fundamental change in Africa’s economic transformation.
AfDB vice-president for agriculture, human and social development, Beth Dunford, noted that the African Development Bank believed that turnkey projects, such as the Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones are crucial to development
He said, “They bring together the ecosystem in regional value chains and key commodities, bringing together production, post-harvest, logistics, and processing to feed Africa’s growing cities and export to the world in a sustainable, green, and affordable way.”
On his part, Special Adviser on Industrialisation to the AfDB President, Prof Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, said that the cooperation framework would ensure that each SAPZ attracts the right investment and is implemented to high standards to avoid unpredictable risks like political setbacks.
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