Rwanda is backing African Development Bank’s new strategy to work with India aimed at boosting Agriculture transformation on the continent.
Speaking this morning at the ongoing 52nd Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group in Ahmedabad, India, Claver Gatete Rwanda’s Finance and Economic Planning Minister called for partnerships and innovation in Agriculture for the sector to meet expectations.
“Agriculture sector employs a big number of African people. Public and private investments can unlock potential in the agriculture sector and speed up poverty reduction,” Minister Gatete said.
Held under the theme; “Transforming Agriculture for Wealth creation in Africa,” the annual meeting seeks to underscore the importance of agriculture for Africa’s transformation and hopes to encourage youth to engage in agriculture as a business for real transformation to take place.
Minister Gatete cited the importance of India and the bank’s will to spur agriculture transformation on the continent, saying the sector is a key player in pushing up the continent’s economic growth.
For instance, he told participants that “In Rwanda Agriculture contributes to more than 30% of the country’s GDP.”
Rwanda puts aside more than $120 million of its annual budget for Agriculture transformation – a sector employing more than 85% of the country’s 11 million population.
Africa urgently needs funds to transform the sector – the biggest source of survival for its nearly 1.2 billion people and cut the biting receipts on food imports.
According to African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina, the continent’s food imports bill would nearly triple to reach $110 billion per year by 2025, “disrupting the continent’s macroeconomic and fiscal stability.”
Akinwumi Adesina told the meeting , “To develop with pride, Africa must feed itself.”