The African Development Bank is fully engaged in ensuring efficient and sustainable agricultural production projects in its regional member countries. This can drive economic growth and poverty reduction as well as fulfil both domestic and global demand for agricultural products.
It is within this perspective, that Angola's Finance Minister, Governor for the Bank, Augusto Archer de Sousa Mangueira, and the African Development Bank's Country Manager for Angola Joseph Ribeiro, signed a US $101.07 million loan agreement for the Cabinda Province Agriculture Value Chains Development Project.
The loan was approved by the African Development Bank's Board on 15 December 2017 and will directly benefit 51.000 economically active rural agricultural smallholders in all four municipalities of the Cabinda Province (Belize, Buco Zau, Cacongo, and Cabinda City) as well as small and medium sized entrepreneurs responsible for providing agricultural support services and food processing. A number of enabling infrastructures will be built including 191 km of access roads, 54km of power supply networks, 750 hectares of irrigation systems, 16 boreholes for water supply, a primary school and a medical facility in each of the four municipalities.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Governor of Cabinda Province, Eugénio César Laborinho praised the Bank for approving an integrated development project that will help address the challenges faced by smallholders and cooperatives in the province, notably the lack of access to agricultural inputs and credit to boost production. "The implementation of this project inaugurates a new era in Cabinda's history, and is timely, as it responds to the recommendations of the President of Angola, João Lourenço, related to the creation of economic opportunities for the population in Cabinda", the Governor added.
The Finance Minister highlighted the alignment of the project with the government's policies aimed at diversifying the economy. According to him, "this project will help address persistent economic and social problems in Cabinda, in particular, the high unemployment and poverty rates".
For his part, the Agriculture and Forests Minister Marcos Nhunga emphasized the relevance of the project in terms of generating sustainable incomes through agriculture value chains, and therefore enhancing economic stability for rural households in Cabinda.
Joseph Ribeiro highlighted the Bank Group's commitment to deliver such transformative projects, which he said, "is aligned to the Bank's High 5s related to Feed Africa and Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa."