Côte d’Ivoire: Africa Development Club’s multi-sectoral mission on «Agro-industry: challenges and prospects»

Abidjan, July 8, 2019 - Attijariwafa bank group’s Africa Development Club and Société Ivoirienne de Banque (the Ivorian Bank Corporation)organized a multi-sectoral mission in Abidjan on July 4 and 5 under the theme «Agro-industry: Challenges and Prospects», sponsored by the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Promotion of SMEs, Mr. Souleymane Diarrassouba.

More than 300 business and institutional leaders, including delegations from Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo and Guinea, took part in this mission during which the opportunities for companies in the agro-industry sector were discussed, as well as those in the African Continental Free Trade Area (CAFTAf), in the process of operationalization.

The business meetings enabled participants to generate opportunities, particularly in the distribution, agri-food, finance and construction sectors. Field visits organized on July 5 punctuated this mission, particularly that of the Cacao Condicaf processing plant - Côte d’Ivoire is the world’s leading producer and exporter of cocoa - the new Youpougon Industrial Zone managed by the AGEDII (Industrial Infrastructure Management and Development Agency), a response to strong demand from industry, and Aérohub, a new logistics management center Bolloré Transport and Logistics.

On this occasion, Africa Development Club’s Director, Ms. Mouna Kadiri, underlined the progress made in a decade of the «Africa Development» dynamic. «In less than ten years, more than 10,000 companies from more than 40 countries of the continent and partner countries have met and generated more than 22,000 business meetings within the framework of the International Africa Development Forum since its 1st edition held in 2010. The field confirms the significant structuring and growth of intra-African trade» she said.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ivorian Bank Corporation(SIB), Georges Ndia Coffi, for his part, recalled «the incredible agricultural wealth of Côte d’Ivoire and the challenge of the industrialization of its resources» and SIB’s structural support in the development of the Ivorian agro-industrial sector.

«Côte d’Ivoire has opted for the development of agro-industry as a driver for the structural transformation of the Ivorian economy through industrialization,» said the Minister of Commerce, Industry and the Promotion of SMEs, Mr. Souleymane Diarrassouba.

With the aim of raising the conversion rate of agricultural products to 50%, Mr. Diarrassouba emphasized the importance of the sector at the heart of the Ivorian government’s industrial policy, promoting the transformation of agricultural raw materials, prioritizing cocoa, cashew, cotton-textile, fruits and vegetables as well as sugar.

High-profile keynotes were then presented by the Scientific Advisor for International Cooperation of CNRA (National Agronomic Research Center), Dr. Amoncho Adiko, on the «Knowledge of African Realities», the Director of Investments of the CEPICI (Center for the Promotion of Investments in Côte d’Ivoire), Ms. Carole Versteeg, on «Private Investment in Côte d’Ivoire», and IFC’s Senior Climate Finance Specialist for Middle East and West Africa, Dr. Riccardo Ambrosini on «Industrialization and Energy Efficiency».

The artist, sculptor and initiator of the Forest and Environment Biennale, Jems Koko Bi, for his part, delivered a testimony and a plea for the preservation of the «first capital of the country» and the «development of the forest economy».

The panel on «Local Business Strengthening Issues in a ZLECAf Context» was moderated by Ms. Fatoumata Fofana, ZLECAf Negotiator at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Promotion of SMEs, Mr. Amine Kittane, Deputy General Manager of the Ivorian Bank Corporation and Mr. Stéphane Aka-Angui, Executive Director of the General Confederation of Enterprises of Côte d’Ivoire (CGECI).

This meeting is the 3rd major meeting of the year after the sixth edition of the International Africa Development Forum organized by the Africa Development Club in Casablanca on March 14 and 15, and the launch of Egypt’s Africa Development Club with Attijariwafa bank Egypt, on May 12 in Cairo.

The next multi-sectoral mission of the Africa Development Club is scheduled for September 25 in Tunis around Agro-Industry and Health Industry, with Attijari Bank of Tunisia.

About Africa Development Club

The Africa Development Club, created by the Attijariwafa bank group in 2016, aims to unite the business community, managers and public representatives in order to pragmatically boost investments across the continent.

Thus, it is a place of connection and exchange dedicated to the economic operators eager to prosper on the continent, by the development of business flows and/or investments in this region of the world. It is also a platform giving access to information, training, services and expertise in order to promote the implementation of entrepreneurial projects, major public structural projects, as well as South-South and North-South cooperation. Since its creation, the Africa Development Club, which now has more than 3,000 members, has organized with Attijariwafa bank group’s banks 15 multi-sectoral missions, mobilizing more than 2,000 business leaders from the continent and partner countries.

For more information: www.clubafriquedeveloppement.com/en

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