AfDB interested in transformational agro value chain industrialization projects which add value to competitively-produced commodities in Africa – VP Quaynor
At a webinar held Thursday by the Nordic-African Business Association (NABA), African Development Bank Vice President Solomon Quaynor made a powerful case for strategic investment opportunities in Africa.
The digital webcast, organized by NABA, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Scatec Solar and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), was part of a day-long event aimed at reconnecting Nordic businesses with the continent. The Nordic-African Business Summit has been hosted for nine consecutive years in Oslo – with more than 3,000 guests and 300 speakers from over 40 countries taking part so far.
Quaynor, Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, who was joined by Paal Bjornestad, the Bank’s Executive Director for the Nordic countries, Ireland and India, addressed a virtual audience made up of Nordic business representatives, government and private sector and interested individuals.
The Bank’s mandate to spur sustainable economic development and social progress on the African continent, saw $9 billion in commercial and concessionary lending in 2019, Quaynor outlined, during his presentation on the Bank’s activities and priority areas, which was followed by a question and answer session.
This lending went towards its priority High5s, across its key cross-cutting themes – that is mainstreaming gender, support to fragile markets, and climate-friendly projects. Twenty five percent was to the private sector.
One example of this is the Boko Mine and Port in Guinea, described as a “truly transformative project.” The $1.4 billion integrated mining and related transport infrastructure project has benefitted from a 14-year senior loan of up to $100m from the African Development Bank, with up to a 3-year grace period. The project is expected to add $400 million to Guinea’s GDP, $300 million to the country’s trade balance annually during the operational phase. Additionally, over 4,000 jobs will be created during its construction phase, as well as 700 permanent and 1,500 temporary jobs during the operational phase.
Agro-industrialization projects for which the Bank is seeking support from Nordic country partners, would include those that add value addition to the competitive production of commodities such as cocoa, livestock and cotton, and would leverage the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, adding value and “allowing African production to participate more in these value chains and also to increase jobs and increase incomes to private sector and also the African economy,” Quaynor said. One good example of this is AFC and AP Moller Capital’s Arise Group of Companies, in partnership with Olam of Singapore.