The African Development Bank, with financing from the Italian Technical Cooperation Fund, has provided a €990,000 grant to help smaller agro-processing enterprises boost production and quality control in Mozambique.
The project will enable the businesses to better tap into national and regional markets and capitalise on the opportunities created by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The Confederation of Business Associations of Mozambique is the implementing agency.
Speaking at the grant funding handover ceremony, Dr Agostinho Vuma, President of the Confederation of Business Associations of Mozambique, explained that the grant will benefit about 300 agro-processing and agribusiness small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) associations in Mozambique, “particularly youth and women-led SMEs operating along the development corridors of Nacala-Beira-Pemba-Lichinga”.
The Minister of Industry and Trade, Dr Carlos Alberto Fortes Mesquita, highlighted the importance of such initiatives and their catalytical role in promoting Mozambique’s agriculture modernisation and the industrialisation of critical sectors of the economy.
Country Strategy Paper pinpoints agricultural transformation
African Development Bank country manager Dr Pietro Toigo noted that the grant would provide critical support to Mozambique, especially amid the socio-economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are pleased to partner with the CTA and the Government of Italy to support Mozambican SMEs recover from the COVID pandemic and scale up their competitiveness, as part of the African Development Bank’s commitment to help Industrialise Africa and Mozambique,” he said.
The project supports the goals of Mozambique’s Country Strategy Paper (2018-2022), which focuses on two strategic pillars: infrastructure investments that enable transformative inclusive growth and job creation, and agricultural transformation and value chain development.
Italian Ambassador Dr Gianni Bardini, stated: “The grant is apt to further step up the intense bilateral relations in the agriculture area built through the many projects financed by the Italian cooperation and that it can act as a catalyst to extend it to the private sector where it exists a huge and largely untapped potential.”