The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), on Monday in Cairo, signed a framework agreement for the Export Agriculture for Food Security (ExAFS) Initiative with ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms (ARISE IIP).
The initiative signed with the governments of Chad, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Egypt seeks to improve food security in Africa, with Afreximbank as financier and advisor, facilitating the partnership activities by committing US$2bn, working with strategic partners and member countries.
The governments of Zimbabwe, Malawi and Chad, the pilot origin countries of the agricultural produce, will play the role of policy enablers and ensure conducive environments for the ATCs.
The initiative intended to help address food insecurity in Africa, includes a near 20% hunger rate, by reducing dependence on other regions for the much needed food commodities by boosting production, processing and intra-African trade in agricultural products.
It will provide the continent’s farmers and agribusinesses with opportunities to access larger markets across the continent, besides increased sales, leading to better prices, improved profitability for Africa’s agricultural value chain stakeholders.
It will leverage upon the establishment of agricultural transformation centres (ATCs) – under a public-private partnership model – in agricultural production zones to provide facilities for agricultural produce from farming communities to be collected, sorted, stored, and transported as raw material for processing or distribution. ATCs will also provide additional services to farmers, including micro finance, basic social services, cold storage facilities, extension services and training.
According to a statement, ATC anchor investors, such as zone developers, large scale commercial farmers, seed companies and development finance institutions, will invest in the ATCs and their necessary infrastructure and will be the primary purchasers and aggregators in origin markets while anchor buyers, such as the Government of Egypt, will be the primary export markets for agricultural produce.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, signed the framework agreement on behalf of the bank on the fifth day of the third Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023).
Other signatories were Robertine Walendom, Minister of Industry and Trade of Chad; Sosten Gwengwe, Minister of Industry and Trade of Malawi; Dr. Anxious Masuka, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development of Zimbabwe; Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation of Egypt; as well as Gagan Gupta, Founder, and CEO of ARISE IIP.