Grow Africa held a fruitful engagement with the European Union (EU) Delegation to South Africa for the purposes of fostering collaboration in the area of investment in African agribusiness.
The meeting with the Head of the EU Delegation comes as a follow up to the convening of a workshop in Cotonou in June 2018, which validated the Grow Africa/IDH Business Case Study report into the market opportunities for the commercial production of pineapples in Benin. Following the validation of the report, the next step was to then engage development partners in order to raise funds so as to move forward with the opportunities identified in the study.
Setting the tone of the meeting, Mr Ibrahim Gourouza, Grow Africa’s Head of West and Central Africa provided the background on the constitution of the Grow Africa programme in support of the implementation of National Agriculture Investment Plans in Africa. Mr Gourouza then presented a succinct summation of the outcomes of the study highlighting the available investment opportunities and the potential for growth in the pineapple sector.
In addition to the keen interest displayed by Ambassador Marcus Cornaro, the Head of the EU Delegation to South Africa has found the Grow Africa approach innovative. He also expressed interest in expanding the scope of discussions and cooperation to the rest of the continent. Ambassador Conaro also identified synergies between Grow Africa’s value chain approach and the European Union’s Africa Investment Platform (AIP) program, with a great focus on jobs and growth in the sectors where they provide finance and technical assistance.
The meeting concluded on a high note, with both Grow Africa and the EU Delegation committing to continue dialogue on the aforementioned issues. The EU Delegation, as a way forward also undertook to pave the way for Grow Africa to engage the relevant focal points at the EU Headquarters in Brussels; the EU Delegation to the African Union as well as the EU Delegation to Benin in order to further engage these parties in order to raise funds for the market opportunities available in the pineapple sector in Benin in particular, and in general, to establish a solid partnership with the EU for future agribusiness projects.