Grow Africa attracts $10bn in private sector investment

Over 200 companies within the Grow Africa Partnership committed $10bn in investment to agriculture in 12 African countries in 2014, representing a 40% increase on 2013 commitment levels.

Over 200 private companies within the Grow Africa Partnership committed $10 billion in investment to the agriculture sectors of 12 African countries in 2014, according to figures released at Grow Africa’s investment forum earlier last week in Cape Town, South Africa. This is a 40 percent increase on 2013 volumes.

Grow Africa is a multi-stakeholder platform founded by the African Union (AU), The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the World Economic Forum in 2011 to improve the agriculture sectors of 12 African countries as a way to promote economic growth and job creation.

It works to increase private sector investment in agriculture, accelerate the executions and impact of investment commitments. The organization is supported by AT Kearney, A global management consulting firm, Rabobank and IDH the Sustainable Trade Initiative, according to its website.

Of the capital raised, some $1.8 billion was invested in 2013 and 2014 creating 58,000 jobs, improved services and market opportunities to 8.6 million smallholder farmers, “who form the backbone of the sector’s production capacity”, according to a press release.

Over half of the investment commitments came from domestic agribusiness and service companies out of a total of 299 private-sector investment commitments, 200 government policy improvements and $6 billion of funding commitments by international development partners.

Grow Africa’s forum took place ahead of the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town.

“We stand at a pivotal moment of opportunity to capitalize on an enormous body of collective learning to foster successful public-private cooperation,” Sarita Nayyar, managing director of World Economic Forum, said in a statement. “We must seize this opportunity to deliver on the promise of African agriculture to drive sustainable and inclusive economic growth for the continent.”