Africa needs more than token action towards building green economies. Without adequate climate action, African farmers may lose 40 % to 80 % of their croplands for growing grains. Preventing the loss of biodiversity (SDG 9) and ecosystem degradation will safeguard urban people’s food supply too. The big question is: how will private sector resources be mobilised? No doubt, African financial institutions have significant capacities to support investors. However, they have a history of risk aversion and lack sufficient market instruments to facilitate risk-sharing. Therefore investments in agribusiness has stayed below what is needed. A further drag is the macroeconomic situation. Interest rates are rising and are increasingly beyond what smallholder farmers and small and mid-sized enterprises can afford.
Celorrio is to build a large complex in Ethiopia. It would be the largest investment ever made by the La Rioja-based group and will employ more than 3,000 people, intending to increase substantially its capacity to manufacture vegetable preserves (asparagus, Piquillo pepper and artichoke). After several years of research across several countries, it seems that the town of Mek’ele has the microclimate suitable for theses crops and a great water capacity. The factory, which will be ready in September 2018, will have a constructed area of 65,000 m2, over a total acreage of 5,000 hectares of land, with the aim of reaching a production capacity of 80,000 tons. The aggregated sales of Grupo Celorrio amounted to €190 million in 2016, 9% more than the previous year. Of that turnover, 20% comes from exports.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has provided over 30 million U.S dollars to support South Sudan’s membership in the African trade, insurance and development body and also strengthen electricity distribution networks. AfDB said in a statement on Thursday evening it has approved 18.15 million U.S. dollars to Juba to help with required resources to support its membership in the African Trade Insurance (ATI) and Trade and Development Bank (TDB). AfDB also approved a supplementary loan of 14.57 million dollars to rehabilitate and expand the electricity distribution networks in the South Sudanese capital Juba.
South African group Shoprite plans to invest US$571.7 million in the expansion of its supermarket and distribution network in Angola under an investment contract signed with the Technical Unit for Private Investment (UTIP). The project involves opening 15 shopping centres over the next five years, 22 supermarkets (three already in operation since 2015), a warehouse and two residential structures for staff, as well as improvements in four supermarkets. The investment will cover 11 of Angola’s 18 provinces and includes the creation of 5,613 jobs for Angolans, of which 3,278 in Luanda.
On Tuesday, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, outlined a new tomato policy, conceived in collaboration with the federal ministry of agriculture, which he said will create 60,000 jobs in the country. The new policy is expected to increase domestic production and processing of fresh tomatoes in order to reduce post-harvest losses. This policy will “stop the importation of tomatoes, preserved or otherwise by vinegar or acetic acid; increase the tariff on tomato concentrate to 50% with an additional levy of $1,500/MT…, accelerate the growth of the manufacturing industry and deepen diversification,” he said