By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
THE African Development Bank is preparing to launch the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) platform linking Africa’s Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) to investment opportunities.
The AGRF’s agriculture matching platform initiative links some 4, 000 actors in the agriculture sector to investment and networking opportunities, according to a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday.
AfDB incoming vice president for agriculture, human and social development Beth Dunford and director for Agricultural finance and rural infrastructure development Atsuko Toda joined development leaders online to launch this year’s AGRF Agribusiness Deal Room.
In her first public engagement since her appointment, Dr Dunford gave keynote remarks at a virtual session that drew more than 200 participants on Tuesday, June 29, 2021.
Dr Dunford said that across Africa, there was a growing class of “agripreneurs” who are looking for investment, partnerships, technical knowhow and financing to scale up their business.
“The African Development Bank is excited to grow its partnership to this initiative. The Agribusiness Deal Room complements our efforts to expand finance for agribusiness to enable small and medium enterprises to grow and attract new and innovative sources of sustainable capital,” she told the online audience.
Dr Dunford told session attendees that the platform aligns with the Bank’s Feed Africa Strategy, which seeks to ensure that the growth of the agricultural sector includes food security, and encourages inclusive growth by involving more women and youth.
She also said Bank support of the Agribusiness Deal Room signals a commitment to a collective vision to accelerate Africa’s food system transformation.