Food sustainability

Africa, Agriculture Means Business

Africa, Agriculture Means Business

After the Asian tigers of the 1990s, will the new millennium see the affirmation of African lions? People are used to considering Africa as a destination for foreign aid rather than a trade partner, but some people from “developed” countries are turning on to the fact that the economy of Sub-Saharan Africa has already begun to show growth rates comparable to BRIC.

Of the top ten countries in the world with the most dynamic GDP for the 2011-2015 period, seven of them are African: Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Congo, Ghana, Zambia and Nigeria. Rwanda, Chad and Angola can be added to these due to accelerated growth since 2001.

“The population and middle class are growing and agriculture is one of the primary motors for development,” explains Gianfranco Belgran of the Italian monthly Africa e Affari, “Italy can do a lot in terms of know-how and technology, launching reciprocal cooperation models to boost Italian business in African countries.”

According to the World Bank, the value of agriculture related business in Africa could reach 740 billion euros (USD 1 trillion) by 2030. Local producers will be a key force, while land-grabbing is the antithesis: a tragedy for those who suffer it, a crime for those who perpetrate it.