Sweden, U.S. Create Agriculture Fast Track Fund For Africa

Sweden, U.S. Create Agriculture Fast Track Fund For Africa

From All Africa.

The U.S., Sweden and African Development Bank have created a $23 million Agriculture Fast Track For Africa fund to stimulate greater private investment in agricultural infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Making the announcement Thursday at the Grow Africa Investment Forum in Cape Town were Donald Kaberuka, president of African Development Bank; Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development and Gunilla Carlsson, Swedish minister for international development cooperation.

“The African economy is currently overly dependent on public investment for infrastructure development,” Kaberuka said. “The Agriculture Fast Track is a critical tool to better leverage donor funding to catalyze private sector investment.”

The fund will serve members of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition  launched by President Barack Obama at the 2012 G-8 Summit. They include Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania.

The fund is designed to strengthen the links between farmers, markets and consumers.

The plan is for the fund to finance project preparation grants, feasibility studies, project design, market analyses, site surveys, business plans, financial modeling and other activities that ensure project quality and bankability, the report says. It will fund up to $1.5 million per project. These project preparation grants will help get access to more funding for agricultural infrastructure from banks and other investors, according to a report in All Africa.

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USAID committed $15 million to the fund. The government of Sweden pledged $10 million. It will be managed by the African Development Bank.

Read more at All Africa.