Mr Ibrahim Gourouza-Magagi, Grow Africa’s Regional Head of West Africa presented to Mr Yacouba Dembele, Director General of the Office National de Development de la Riziculture en Côte d'Ivoire, the $30,000 financial agreement between the NEPAD Agency and the latter. This is viewed as a progressive step towards supporting the activities of the Rice Multi-stakeholder platform co-created by the two organisations in July 2017.
The scope of the financial agreement will provide funds that will cover the following in respect of the Rice Platform:
- Support of the coordination functions for a period of 12 months;
- Private sector engagement and connection support which entails the important task of building an investment pipeline database linked to financial services;
- Convening validation workshops for priority business case studies;
- Convening thematic group workshops on a variety of key themes relevant to the sector such as modern technology and innovative finance; and
- Participation at investment forums in order to showcase business case studies and available market opportunities in the sector.
Mr Dembele stated that, “The government of Côte d'Ivoire has set its sights on becoming the region’s rice granary by pursuing an ambitious agricultural diversification programme.”
“The funding from the NEPAD Agency will certainly contribute towards attaining this goal by getting the actors of the rice value chain more organised,” he added.
“This Grow Africa initiative in Côte d’Ivoire is part of a global programme to attain rice self-sufficiency in the ECOWAS region by 2025. To reach this ambitious target as the development agency of the African Union, our task is to assist governments get the rice value chain right in four other countries; Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal,” Mr Gourouza-Magagi said.
As a way forward, consultations among members of the Rice value chain in Côte d’Ivoire will indicate areas where specific business case studies should be conducted in order to match commercial opportunities with investments within the Grow Africa Country Agribusiness Partnership Framework.