The African Development Bank ’s incoming vice president for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Dr Beth Dunford, and director for Agricultural Finance and Rural Infrastructure Development Atsuko Toda joined with the development leaders online to launch this year’s African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) Agribusiness Deal Room.
In her first public engagement since her appointment, Dr Dunford gave keynote remarks at a virtual session that drew more than 200 participants on Tuesday, 29 June. Dr Dunford said that across Africa, there is a growing class of “agripreneurs” who are looking for investment, partnerships, technical knowhow and financing to scale up their business.
“The African Development Bank is excited to grow its partnership to this initiative. The Agribusiness Deal Room compliments our efforts to expand finance for agribusiness to enable small and medium enterprises to grow and attract new and innovative sources of sustainable capital,” she told the online audience.
Organized by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, this fourth edition of the Agribusiness Deal Room will be featured at the annual AGRF Summit that convenes stakeholders to facilitate partnerships and investments in African agriculture. The Agribusiness Deal Room specifically supports governments and companies with access to finance and partnership opportunities.
This year, the AGRF Agribusiness Deal Room will focus on addressing the challenges in agricultural lending to small and medium enterprises, or SMEs. The Bank is one of 24 Agribusiness Deal Room partners that bring complementary capabilities, resources, and networks to the platform.
Dr Dunford will be responsible for the Bank’s strategy, lending and other activities in agriculture, as well as in water and sanitation, education, health, and Bank-wide work on employment and gender equity.