A €27.8 million initiative aims to empower West African agriculture and foster economic growth
On September 21, 2023, the European Investment Bank (EIB) solidified its commitment to promoting sustainable agriculture in West Africa through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the African financial institution, Compagnie Financière Africaine (COFINA).
Under this historic agreement, the EIB pledges €16 million ($17.1 million) to bolster small- and medium-sized enterprises, women-led initiatives, and entrepreneurial ventures engaged in sustainable agriculture projects within Ivory Coast. Additionally, €10 million ($10.7 million) will be channeled into Senegal through COFINA to fuel agricultural developments.
Sié Amed Touré, the Managing Director of COFINA in Ivory Coast, highlighted the transformative potential of this funding, stating, “We will be able to reach rural populations through cooperatives and associations. We aim to provide solutions that will enable them to automate their production chain all the way up to the crop processing stage and make them local champions.”
The EIB envisions this financial injection as a catalyst for job creation, economic growth, the adoption of environmentally friendly farming practices, and enhanced food security in both countries. These efforts are particularly crucial in light of the supply chain challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The Bank’s strategy combines funding with essential technical assistance, with a particular focus on empowering women-led businesses and boosting productivity in critical areas such as irrigation, mechanization, and storage.
Anticipated results include the support of up to 6,000 jobs spanning the cocoa, cashew, food crops, cereals, and horticulture value chains. This initiative stands as a beacon of hope and progress, aligning with the shared goal of fostering sustainable agriculture and economic resilience in West Africa.