The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, is championing the transformation of the rural economies of African countries as the fastest way to lift millions of people out of poverty.
The AfDB President, who is on a three-day visit to Ghana, said: “We have to make sure that agriculture which is their basic source of livelihood, is made a business not a way of life. I don’t believe that agriculture is a way of life at all, it is a development activity, this is where Africa’s wealth will come from if we do it the right way. Agro industrialization has to play a very big role in what we do.”
Adesina, who spoke on various ways the Bank will continue to support Ghana, emphasized that the country has no business importing rice and pledged the AfDB’s support in this area.
“One of our High 5s is to Feed Africa. Coming from the airport, I was speaking to the Honourable Minister of Finance about northern Ghana, and I was saying that northern Ghana has over 400,000 hectares of land which is very good for agriculture. Ghana absolutely has no business at all importing rice. You are spending US$400 million a year importing what you should be exporting. I think we are going to do something about that, it is one of the key issues that we are going to be discussing,” Adesina said.
“Consistent with its ‘Feed Africa’ strategy, the African Development Bank will support Ghanaian government efforts to improve the underperforming value chains which fail to add enough value to agricultural produce; to repair and rebuild inadequate infrastructure; to improve access to agricultural financing; and to reduce volatility in the international price of cocoa,” he added.