BY LEVI JOHNSON
The African Development Bank will support Côte d’Ivoire in creating agricultural value chains to create more jobs and make economic growth more inclusive, the bank’s president, Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina, said on Tuesday during a meeting with Ivorian Prime Minister Patrick Achi.
“The African Development Bank will support the Ivorian government in the creation of agricultural value chains in banana, mango, palm oil, cashew, coffee and cocoa products … There will be investments to transform rural areas into areas of wealth” for the people, Adesina said.
Since 2015, the African Development Bank, whose head office is based in Abidjan, has quadrupled its investments in Côte d’Ivoire, bringing its portfolio to $2.7 billion.
The African Development Bank president said it was important to make Côte d’Ivoire’s economic growth “more” inclusive and job-creating and ensure rural areas’ transformation. To this end, he said the Bank will support the government’s 2021-2025 National Development Plan.
President Adesina also commended the Ivorian government’s efforts in the fight against Covid-19, which he noted had helped revive the country’s economy.
“Côte d’Ivoire was in an exceptional trajectory with an average growth rate of 7% from 2016 to 2019. Unfortunately, because of Covid-19, growth has dropped to 2% in 2020. But with the economic recovery and vaccinations helping, the tourism, services, transport and manufacturing industries are recovering. We expect the Ivorian economy to rebound by 6.2% this year and 6.5% in 2022,” Adesina said.
Prime Minister Achi welcomed the African Development Bank’s continuing support and expressed the Ivorian government’s deep appreciation for its assistance as a strategic partner.
The Ivorian Ministers of Finance, Adama Coulibaly, Planning, Nialé Kaba, and Agriculture, Kobena Kouassi Adjoumani, attended the working session that followed the audience as well as the African Development Bank’s Director-General for West Africa, Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbadé and her deputy, Joseph Manuel Riberio.