The European Union has committed USD 50 Mn to boost the operations of agribusinesses in Africa. In what is a continuation of aid extension towards the continent, the million-dollar provision will be supporting smallholder agribusinesses in Nigerian rural areas and other African countries.
To cement its commercial mainstay in Africa, the EU is increasing its investments in the continent to par with Chinese competition as well as that of the U.S. The announcement was made by the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, during the inauguration of the support fund in Rome.
The narrative from the Roman occasion reveals that the Luxembourg government and the African Green Revolution Alliance – an international NGO- are committing 5 Mn Euros and USD 5 Mn, respectively towards the scheme. The conclave was held under the auspices of the International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD).
According to Mimica, the new ABC Fund which has been established by the IFAD, is tailored to serve the financial needs of smallholders and farmers. Through the farmers’ organizations, loans between USD 25 K and USD 1 Mn will be provided to better their access to finance. As said, some 70,000 small-scale growers will be in the reception of the support fund to better their businesses and standards of living.
This is not the first time the EU is committing huge investments to Africa. Earlier this year, the Union, allocated more than USD 255 Mn to aid the creation of jobs as well as economic integration in 25 African countries. Countries such as Lesotho, Sudan, Namibia, Mauritius, Eswatini, Djibouti, Comoros, Burundi, Seychelles, South Sudan, and Madagascar, who are usually not active on the African business radar.
Still of recent, the EU provided USD 56 Mn to support the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), one of the major priorities of Africa’s Agenda 2063, for the period 2018 to 2020.
Needful to say, the EU is the continent’s most significant trading partner, having accounted for 36 percent if Africa’s trade in good, worth USD 276 Bn in 2017. The Unions also has intentions to intensify relations with Africa for more growth and development.
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