Sterling Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading commercial bank, has announced that this year’s Agriculture Summit Africa (ASA) will hold from September 23 to 24, 2020, with the theme “Fast Forward Agriculture: Exploiting The Next Revolution.”
The statement by the bank also announced Mastercard Foundation, Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and IDH – the sustainable trade initiative as headline sponsors for the third edition of the Summit. Other partners confirmed to be supporting this year’s event include Flour Mills Nigeria PLC., NIRSAL and Nourishing Africa.
The emergence of Mastercard Foundation and IDH as headline sponsors of this year’s is indicative of significant strides in providing access to capital for women, small and medium scale enterprises as well as smallholder farmers in the country as enunciated in last year’s post summit communique. Both organizations are strong advocates for the professionalization of the agricultural sector and the diversification of rural economies through improved access to a range of appropriate and sustainable financial and technical services.
More than 2,500 delegates, financiers, entrepreneurs, government functionaries and agribusiness practitioners drawn from across the African continent, Asia, Europe and North America participated at the 2019 edition of the Summit.
Executive Director, Corporate and Investment Banking, Sterling Bank, Yemi Odubiyi, remarked that this year’s edition would be a hybrid event – online and physical – due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic and the need to adhere to health management protocols laid down by authorities.
Odubiyi said the event was part of the bank’s commitment to the critical sectors of the Nigerian economy under its well thought-out and impact-based HEART initiative. Agriculture is one of the five sectors the bank is concentrating investment in. The other sectors are Health, Education, Renewable Energy and Transportation.