West and East Africa AFT fast tracks agricultural productivity

The African Development Bank’s Agriculture Fast Track Fund (AFT), a new multi-donor trust fund created to increase agricultural productivity and reduce poverty, recently announced the recipients of its first two project preparation grants in Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
“These exciting grants are helping to address food production and food security programmes in East and West Africa, and are the first step in leveraging donor funding to catalyse private sector investment in support of Africa’s long term economic growth and food security,” said Rajiv Shah, administrator at the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
In all, six firms from Tanzania, Côte d’Ivoire and Ethiopia were approved for funding under the AFT’s first round of grants, with a total funding amount of nearly $3.2million. Created as part of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition and launched in May 2013, the AFT is a nearly $28million fund to spur agricultural infrastructure development in African countries that are members of the New Alliance, including Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania.