The African Development Bank (AfDB), in collaboration with Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development hinted on Thursday that they have voted $1 billion to further deliver special agro-industrial processing zones in 24 States of Nigeria.
This is in addition to an initial $520 million voted by the development partners for the development of eight special agro-industrial processing zones in Nigeria.
The AfDB President, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, made the disclosure while delivering his speech titled “From Dakar to Des Moines,” at the Norman Borlaug International Dialogue, World Food Prize 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa, United States of America.
Dr. Adesina said that the decision to pump such huge funds into Nigeria’s agribusiness was part of the resolve to develop Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) in 13 countries.
The AfDB boss said, “We are investing heavily in the development of SAPZs to support the development of agricultural value chains, food processing and value addition, enabling infrastructure and logistics to promote local, regional, and international trade in food.
“The African Development Bank Group is investing $853 million in the development of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones, and it has mobilized additional co-financing of $661 million, for a total commitment of $1.5 billion. We are deploying effective partnerships at scale. We are currently implementing 25 Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones in 13 countries.
Dr. Adesina further lamented that while much progress had “been made in African agriculture, 283 million people still go to bed hungry in Africa, about a third of the 828 million people that suffer hunger globally.”
Describing the Norman Borlaug International Dialogue World Food Prize 2023, he said it is a “journey and narrative of how we are combining the power of science, technology, policies, and politics to ensure that Africa fully unlocks its agricultural potential, and feeds itself, with pride.”
Furthermore, the AfDB President thanked Vice President Kashim Shettima, and the President of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde, for participating in the global event, saying their presence is an indication “that Africa has the political will and is fully ready to tackle food insecurity and make hunger history” on the continent.