The agri-food industry in Africa is no myth

All the data published over the past decade is unequivocal. In a study on the roles and opportunities for the private sector of the agri-food industry in Africa, the opinion of the United Nations Development Programme’s African Facility for Inclusive Markets (AFIM) is rather instructive. “Africa remains a strategic continent for the world’s agri-food industry because it possesses 60% of the planet’s uncultivated arable land. Moreover, according to reports by McKinsey and Standard Bank, roughly US$9.2 trillion in cumulative investments will be necessary to feed the planet by 2050. By then, Africa’s population may well almost double to reach two billion. Sub-Saharan Africa by itself will need $940 billion in investments, with about 66% of these going toward agri-business and agri-industry capital expenses; by 2040, it will be home to one out of five of the Earth’s youth. It is further estimated that by 2030, the continent’s top 18 cities could have a combined purchasing power of $1.3 billion, and by 2020 have a middle class well above that of India. Spending on food and drink is expected to increase, in absolute terms, more than that for any other consumer goods category, and studies conducted by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) show that Africa’s local and urban markets will reach $150 billion by 2030, considerably exceeding foreign demand for traditional products and exports with high added value, forecast at $10 billion each. Finally, individual in-depth interviews with the largest agri-food companies, held during the NEPAD studies, reveal huge potential investment of $10 billion for the private sector in the agri-food industry.”

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