Dutch impact investor partners with African Development Bank to expand food production

8th September 2017 Kennedy Abwao

Non-profit organisation Hivos International is turning its impact investment arm to a strategic partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to help entrepreneurs invest in the renewable energy, forestry and agribusiness markets, with plans aimed at growing the traditional food industries in Africa.

Marnix van Holland, Hivos International’s program development manager, said the partnership will enable Hivos Impact Investments to identify local entrepreneurs willing to turn African cuisine into global brands and promote local and sustainable food production.

“This model is about finding the entrepreneurs, providing the training capacity and enhancing their access to finance,” Holland said at the launch of the project.

It will provide the business infrastructure support to African small businesses through the provision of finance and business skills, and could start to build off-ground investments to assist businesses in navigating their business growth cycle. Hivos also plans to use its network of financial agencies and investment partners from around the globe to link up with local investors in Africa’s food chains.

The African Development Bank will support the creation of a distribution marketing platform to promote African cuisine as the bank believes that innovation in the food industry, one of the world’s largest, is essential to creating job opportunities for young people.

The bank estimates the food market to be worth US$313 billion with the African food and beverage market projected to reach US$1 trillion by 2030.

“We can design the needs and provide the necessary financial assistance which is important for these Small and Medium Entreprise investors to reach the commercial banks,” said Edson Mpyisi, the African Development Bank’s project coordinator for ENABLE Youth, a programme created in 2016 to spur agriculture-sector based investments within the bank.


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