AfDB President calls for investment in Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones

Mohamed Samir
2 Min Read
Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group AfDB Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones’ Session, at Day 1 of the Africa Investment Forum Marrakech, Morocco 8 November 2023

Marrakech – Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), called for investment in Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) at the Africa Investment Forum in Marrakech, Morocco, on Wednesday.

“We must end the export of raw agricultural commodities,” Adesina said. “Africa must process its own cashew, cotton, coffee, tea, cocoa, cassava, fruits, and vegetables.”

Africa has a comparative advantage in agriculture, with 65% of the world’s uncultivated arable land. The continent’s population is expected to reach 2.5 billion by 2050, creating a huge consumption market for food.

“The size of Africa’s food and agriculture market will be worth $1 trillion by 2030,” Adesina said. “So, think differently, and invest differently. The new millionaires and billionaires of Africa will not come from the oil and gas industry, they will be from food and agriculture.”

AfDB provides $853m to support establishment of SAPzs

The AfDB has provided financing of $853m to support the establishment of SAPZs and has mobilized over $661m from other development partners.

“The momentum of transformative change is in Africa’s favour,” Adesina said. “It’s time for Africa to be a player in global food and agricultural value chains. It’s time for Africa to fill aeroplanes and ships with processed and value-added foods and agricultural commodities.”

The AfDB has launched the Alliance for Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones with founding partners Afreximbank, Islamic Development Bank, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and Arise Integrated Industrial Platforms.

The Alliance has the goal of mobilizing at least $2bn in financing and investment commitments from Alliance members and partners over the next five years.

“I call on you, the investment community here today, to take advantage of unprecedented opportunities in Africa’s increasingly dynamic and profitable food and agricultural sector,” AfDB President said. “Invest in the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) and be part of the new wealth of Africa.”

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Mohamed Samir Khedr is an economic and political journalist, analyst, and editor specializing in geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, and the Eastern Mediterranean. For the past decade, he has covered Egypt's and the MENA region's financial, business, and geopolitical updates. Currently, he is the Executive Editor of the Daily News Egypt, where he leads a team of journalists in producing high-quality, in-depth reporting and analysis on the region's most pressing issues. His work has been featured in leading international publications. Samir is a highly respected expert on the Middle East and Africa, and his insights are regularly sought by policymakers, academics, and business leaders. He is a passionate advocate for independent journalism and a strong believer in the power of storytelling to inform and inspire. Twitter: LinkedIn:
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