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War in Ukraine creates suffering, also an opportunity for Africa, says the president of the Development Bank – SABC News

The African Development Bank (AfDB) aims to raise $ 1 billion to rapidly increase agricultural production in Africa and prevent a potential food crisis due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, its president told Reuters on Friday.

But the war, which has sent commodity prices down, is also an opportunity for the continent to position itself as a supplier of natural gas to Europe and a haven for investors fleeing Russia.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Africa did not see infection rates and deaths at the same levels as many more developed regions. However, its economies have failed and its rebound has been slow to prove itself.

Like much of the world, African nations are dying for rapidly rising consumer prices, with the war in Ukraine endangering global wheat and corn supplies and rising fuel prices.

“Already out of COVID, we have 24 million people falling further into extreme poverty, and that will aggravate the situation,” Akinwumi Adesina said in an interview.

To prevent a food crisis, he said the AfDB planned to launch an emergency plan for food production that would focus on the rapid stimulation of wheat, maize, rice and soybean production on the continent.

“The plan is to produce about 30 million metric tons of food and get technology into the hands of 20 million farmers. So you look at large scale with small farmers, “he said.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has already expressed its support to help implement the plan, which will produce food stacks of $ 12 billion, Adesina said.

The bank plans to raise the $ 1 billion needed to fund the initiative from various emergency support facilities, concessional funding and from the IMF’s proposed $ 50 billion for sustainable sustainability fund.

“When COVID hit, we were not ready. But this time we are completely ready,” he said.

ALTERNATIVE OF RUSSIA

While Adesina rejected the impact of the war on Ukraine and its people, he acknowledged that the conflict and the geopolitical shifts it had caused in some areas could play in favor of Africa.

“The biggest challenge facing Europe is securing its energy supply,” he said. “Europe must seek, and it seeks, alternative supplies of gas. Africa can be that place.

Africa has a host of major oil and gas producers, including Algeria, Nigeria and Angola.

And new discoveries of offshore gas – the viability of which was questioned due to the global shift to renewable energy – may now become critical to Europe’s energy security, as it itself rejects Russian supplies.

France’s TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA) together with the American company Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) and Portugal’s Galp (GALP.LS) are currently developing projects to exploit Mozambique’s roughly 100 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves and make it a large liquefied natural gas player. make.

Africa, meanwhile, is ready to welcome investors currently withdrawing from Russia, Adesina said.

“There are a lot of investors who will obviously diversify from Russia. That is a real opportunity, I think, for Africa at this time in time.

War in Ukraine creates suffering, also an opportunity for Africa, says the president of the Development Bank – SABC News

Source link War in Ukraine creates suffering, also an opportunity for Africa, says the president of the Development Bank – SABC News

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