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  • World - Africa
  • Updated: March 26, 2024

Italian Financial Institution, Afreximbank forge €100 million partnership for African food security

Italian Financial Institution, Afreximbank forge €100 mill

The Italian financial institution for international development cooperation and Afreximbank have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a €100 million facility aimed at bolstering food security across Africa.

This funding initiative, revealed by Vincent Musumba, Afreximbank's Manager of Communications and Events, also seeks to support Afreximbank’s endeavors in promoting climate-smart agriculture on the continent.

The agreement, signed by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti S.p.A (CDP) Italy and Afreximbank, signifies a commitment to fostering collaboration between Italian and African enterprises. Notably, this partnership builds upon CDP's initial pledge of €100 million, elevating the total financing from CDP to €200 million.

The announcement of this collaboration coincided with the inauguration of CDP’s inaugural operational headquarters in Africa, located in Cairo. The MoU was formalized through the signatures of Haytham ElMaayergi, Executive Vice President of Afreximbank, and Dario Scannapieco, CEO of CDP.

According to the statement, the new financing from CDP will be used to provide support, either directly to eligible African enterprises, or indirectly through local financial intermediaries.

“Some of the projects that will be financed will include those related to local production and import of essential soft commodities such as cereals and fertilisers.”

The statement quoted ElMaayergi as saying, “the facility will support Afreximbank’s drive to increase food production in its member countries.

“It would also help Africa to achieve food security through private sector intervention.

“Additionally, it will support the development of alternative food channels, including increasing investments in climate-smart agriculture.

ElMaayergi said this would help increase food yield and provide resilience to businesses in the food and agriculture space.

He said that the MoU would promote collaboration between Italian and African enterprises and would bring Africa and Italy closer with the aim of promoting intra and extra-African trade.

ElMaayergi said the collaboration includes co-financing of eligible transactions with sovereigns, corporates and financial institutions in Afreximbank’s member countries.

“Also the organisation, participation and promotion of matchmaking events with African stakeholders and local business communities in Italy, or any of Afreximbank’s member countries.”

Scannapieco was quoted as saying, “food security and the resilience of agricultural supply chains are key issues for the development of the African continent.

“Through collaboration with Afreximbank, CDP will be able to guarantee resources to local Small and Medium Enterprises operating in these sectors.

“It will at the same time favour the creation of opportunities for Italian companies.

“This commitment will further be reinforced through the opening of our new office in Cairo, which confirms the centrality of Africa in CDP strategy,” he said.

The statement said the new facility would enable Afreximbank to provide timely and necessary support to its member countries through businesses in the food security space.

It said the facility would also support management of supply chain crises, particularly around soft commodities.

“This will in turn contribute to the stabilisation of food security and the diversification of supply sources in Africa.”

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