In a statement released by the regional bank, Dr. Adesina said Africa’s partnership with other development allies such as Korea, should be more structured, adding that the continent should connect financial instruments and technologies in order to fully realize her potential.
“Africa’s partnership with Korea should be more concrete and more structured. We should connect financial instruments and technologies from Korea with the numerous initiatives on the continent,” he said.
Dr. Adesina said two initiatives by the regional bank, the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) and the Staple Crop Processing Zones (SCPZ), were potential joint venture opportunities for Korean agricultural investment in Africa.
“Through these initiatives, the bank and its partners seek to add value to every single thing that is produced, so we can have massive agro-industrialization and value-addition. We must transform our rural areas from zones of economic misery to zones of economic prosperity. And the way to do that is to turn agriculture into a big business that works for the poor,” he said.
Dr. Adesina observed that Korea and Africa, for instance, have a strong partnership through the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) with joint initiatives in agriculture, technology, and other important economic sectors.
AfDB said Korea has one of the highest research and development investment capacity of any country in the world.
The bank has been consistent in driving growth in farming productivity and income and has engaged Korea to import some of its food from Africa.
“Africa’s population and arable land endowments provide ample trade and technology partnership opportunities for Korea and the rest of Asia. By 2050 Africa will have 2.5 billion people in a global population of 9.8 billion,” said Dr. Adesina.
“Africa has 65 percent of the remaining uncultivated arable land in the world, so what Africa does with agriculture will determine the future of food in the world. In doing so, it must use the most efficient and sustainable technology.”
In the statement, Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs director of the international co-operation bureau Mr. Chung II Chung was quoted as saying Korea is eager to share its development experience with Africa.
“Korea is eager to share its development experience with Africa. We can work together to develop new rice varieties in Africa. Korea continues to support the Middle East and Africa region with agriculture aid and investment programmes but more cooperation in agriculture is also feasible,” reads part of the statement.
“Today, Korea is deploying robotics and other smart technologies in agriculture and across other sectors . . . Africa can certainly fast-track its development journey through the right partnerships.”
Last year, AfDB, through the African Development Fund extended a $4,1 million grant to Zimbabwe and part of it was used to reform three State-owned enterprises.