Summit calls for more Africa-EU investments especially in Agriculture

8 months ago 3438

Investors have been urged to take advantage of Africa’s arable land to drive sustainable agriculture and increase food production.

This was amongst the conclusions of Business leaders and policymakers at the 4th edition of the EU-Africa business summit in Marrakech held to promote business and policy initiatives between both continents.

Experts say key private sector investment and policy implementation are what's needed to drive further growth.

"This is the time for partners from all over the world to come and invest in the continent. They have the freedom to establish under the AFCFTA in any of the preference, and wherever they are established we are saying that their market is a whole continent," said Chiza Charles Chiumya, said the acting Director of the Directorate of Industry, Mining and Entrepreneurship, African Union Commission

"We have for instance CADEP, the CADEP framework, which is promoting agriculture in Africa. We have the Malabo declaration that was aiming at accelerating progress towards you know agricultural transformation so these programs need to be implemented fully by our member states. So we call on our member states to make sure. that they are able to implement the policies that are in place," Dr. Patrick Ndzana Olomo, the head, Investment and Mobilisation of Resources, AU Department of Economic Affairs said.

23 percent of Subsaharan Africa's GDP stemming from Agriculture according to the world bank, it was also agreed that the EU- Africa trade partnership in the sector must now focus on smallholder farmers.

"We stand ready in the European Union to work with our partners in the African Union and all of the countries to generate the necessary finance the technical knowledge and all of the partnerships and the alliances to make this happen. But the farmer must be at the center of the action," said Phil Hogan, the former EU commissioner for Agriculture.

The EU is Africa’s largest trade and investment partner. It's Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stock in Africa in 2020 was at €222 billion, compared to €42 billion from the US and €38 from China.

Organizers are the EBS group. They say their aim is to shape the common future of both continents by bringing influential business leaders, policymakers and experts together.

They added that the EU-African partnership needs to deliver a genuine partnership with policy objectives, standards and rules that are in the interest of both continents.

After the interruption due to the Covid pandemic, EU and African companies cannot miss the chance to resume their business relations and take them to the next level.

The EU is Africa’s largest trade and investment partner, and the main supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with €72.5 million mobilized by the end of 2020.

The summit is the fourth edition.

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