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Denmark contributes to green growth in Africa

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Donald Kaberuka, visited Copenhagen Wednesday and Thursday in order to promote development policy and commercial cooperation between Denmark and Africa.

Woman with her infant child on her back working in the field. Each farmer has a little piece of land totalling 0.5 hectares. The farmers receive credit from the local agricultural supply store 'Litania Investment'. They pay them back when the harvest is in.

Woman with her infant child on her back working in the field. Each farmer has a little piece of land totalling 0.5 hectares. The farmers receive credit from the local agricultural supply store 'Litania Investment'. They pay them back when the harvest is in.

Photo: Mikkel Østergaard/Danida

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Donald Kaberuka, visits Copenhagen 28-29 August in order to promote development policy and commercial cooperation between Africa and Denmark. As president of the African governments’ “own” development bank, President Kaberuka has a great amount of high-level political influence in Africa.

At the day’s meeting with Kaberuka, Minister for Development Cooperation Christian Friis Bach declared that Denmark intends to grant DKK 630 million for refilling the African Development Fund for 2014-2016 and that at the same time he will contribute DKK 10 million to the African Development Bank’s Agriculture Fast Track Fund, which is a multi-donor fund that is to act as a catalyst for investment projects in the agriculture sector.

Minister for Development Cooperation Christian Friis Bach states: “The African Development Bank is a key partner in our efforts to promote inclusive and green growth in Africa. The bank carries out important work to ensure that the people have clean water, good sanitation, electricity, better transport and infrastructure while at the same time contributing to sustainable development. We support the Fast Track initiative because it can act as a catalyst for attracting more badly needed investments in agriculture in Africa and in the production of healthy food.”

Minister for Foreign Affairs Villy Søvndal states: “We discussed the need for political reforms that could contribute to green growth in Africa. The development bank is an important strategic partner for Denmark. Kaberuka is one of the African leaders who consistently points to the need for reforms if Africa is to take advantage of its present great potential for growth in a sustainable way. He is one of the African decision makers who is increasingly asking for trade and investments while at the same time increasingly seeing development policy cooperation as a crucial catalyst for carrying out the structural reforms necessary to promote inclusive and green growth.”

Minister for Trade and European Affairs Nick Hækkerup states: “In the coming years, we will see more good opportunities for investments in Africa within areas such as water, energy, the climate, the environment, healthcare and agriculture, areas where Denmark is strongly placed. The development bank helps governments, enterprises and donors put the projects together in the right way. I feel that Danish companies are interested, but that they often need a helping hand in order to get off to a good start.”

Wednesday evening, Kaberuka together with Nick Hækkerup attended a dinner with 13 Danish companies hosted by the Confederation of Danish Industry in order to discuss business opportunities and challenges in Africa. Thursday, Kaberuka met with Villy Søvndal and then Christian Friis Bach, who signed a new agreement on Danish support to the Agriculture Fast Track Fund (AFT). The fund has a donor-financed start capital of approx. USD 23 million but will be able to lead to investments and public-private partnerships amounting to several hundred million dollars in sub-Saharan Africa within the fields of food and agriculture. The fund is demand driven, flexible and effective and “fast tracks” promising ideas within agriculture into commercially sustainable investment projects.

Globally, sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest growing regions, with an overall economic growth rate of approx. 5% a year since 2000. The AfDB’s activities have, among other things, contributed to ensuring clean drinking water for 33 million people in rural districts, electricity to 20 million households and ensured 34 million people better transport options due to infrastructure improvements.

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