The President of the African Development Bank (AFDB) Akinwunmi Adesina believes the continent’s food and agricultural market can reach the one-trillion-dollar mark in value by 2030.

While congratulating the African leaders for signing the Continental Free Trade Agreement, Adesina said, “Africa’s food and agriculture market will hit US$1 trillion by 2030. Household consumption will hit US$2.5 trillion, with business-to-business expenditure at US$3.5 trillion by 2025. There’s no doubt, Africa is where to invest.”

The bank’s boss says they have spent more than $20 million on facilitating the Free Trade Area support, cross-border transport, and energy soft infrastructure.

He said the single market will help open up land-locked areas: “Free trade will bring collective benefits and shared wealth for all African nations, especially the landlocked countries. So, we must accelerate investments in regional and national infrastructure, especially, to boost connectivity, reduce costs and raise competitiveness.”

The bank has been keenly focused on its ‘Integrate Africa’ project. Adesina says intra-trade in the continent will rise to 52% with the new agreement. “The continental free trade area will stimulate intra-African trade by up to US$35bn per year, creating a 52 percent increase in trade by 2022 and a vital US$10bn decrease in imports from outside Africa.”

The past five years have seen the AfDB’s commitments to infrastructure grow to more than US$12bn. These investments have largely gone into cross-border transport, energy, finance and ICT connectivity. The bank has worked closely with partners to spot and execute regional infrastructure projects under the programme for infrastructure development in Africa (PIDA) with a US$10mn grant.

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