IsDB Partners AfDB, IFAD to Launch $538m Fund for Agro-industrial Processing Zones

Ugo Aliogo in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, has stated that the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB) has partnered the bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to launch a $538 million programme to develop special agro industrial processing zones in Nigeria.

Adesina remarked that in 2017, the AFDB set a goal financing target of $2 billion, adding that it has overachieved on that by reaching $2.4 billion which he noted would support 19 projects across 14 African countries.

The AfDB boss, who spoke during yesterday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during the IsDB Golden Jubilee celebration and gala dinner, hinted that the IsDB Group has committed $7 billion to efforts in support of Africa to feed itself.

“I was delighted when the Chairman IsDB Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, announced this at the Feed Africa Summit held in Dakar, Senegal in 2023. You have joined forces with the African Development Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development as we jointly launched a $538 million programme to develop Special Agro Industrial Processing Zones in Nigeria.

“You also joined forces with us to create the Alliance for Special Agro Industrial Processing Zones to jointly mobilise $3 billion to develop these zones across several countries.

“You are a strategic partner of choice for us. As you look into the future. We have shown our commitment to do more together,” he stated.

The Co-chair, Board Member, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates,  disclosed that the organisation’s collaboration with the Muslim leaders, especially the Sultan of Sokoto,  Saad Abubakar, helped drop the polio virus to zero in northern Nigeria in the year 2020.

He also noted that many thought the foundation would not succeed in its effort to eradicate the polio virus because the reputation of the virus in Nigeria was under huge challenge.

However, he said they were able to get the word out, while adding that the oral polio drops were a great thing and every child everywhere accepted it.

In his remarks, President of Afreximbank, Benedict Oramah, revealed that the scale of the transactions IsDB has done with Africa through International Islamic Trade Finance, which provides trade support to participating countries on behalf of the bank, has surpassed one $1 billion.

Oramah said:  “Today, there can be no better place to invest than in Africa. That is the continent of the future. That is the youngest population. That is a continent that will in a very short time actually account for almost 40 per cent of global population.

“It is a continent that has all the minerals you can think of that are yet to be exploited, not to talk of the water, agricultural land, all the things that the world today is lacking. So that is a place that can become a good partner of Saudi Arabia as it implements the Vision 2030.”

The Afreximbank president affirmed that the Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, anchored on socio-economic and cultural diversification, had become a hub for Asia, Europe and Africa to connect.

“If Saudi Arabia achieves this vision, so the global market is nearer, the African ports will become integrated into the Saudi ports, we are able to more effectively also diversify from mineral resources just as Saudi Arabia also diversifies from oil,” he said.

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