Agribusiness: conference on sustainable business organized by The Bridge project
As part of The Bridge Africa-Europe project, the second conference of the webinar series on the development of sustainable business between the two continents takes place on September 30. Under the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Confindustria Assafrica & Mediterraneo, the meeting aims to investigate the current scenario and understand possible future developments, to the benefit of participating companies.
This second seminar – organized after the first meeting on the theme of renewable energies with specific reference to the markets of South Africa, Zambia and Namibia – takes an in-depth look at the agribusiness sector in West Africa, with a particular focus on Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast.
In collaboration with Andersen in Switzerland, Andersen in Nigeria, Andersen in Italy, Sam Okudzeto & Associates and Mondon Conseil International (the firms with which Andersen has a collaboration agreement in Ghana and Ivory Coast, respectively), the conference is organized with the contribution of the Africa magazine Africa & Affari, media partner of the Andersen series of events on the development of sustainable business.
Africa and Europe are increasingly linked in the field of agribusiness. This sector is configured as a priority in the economic development of the African continent: in fact, agriculture can be considered the “oil” of Africa because it boasts over 50% of the unused agricultural land on the entire planet. In addition, considering the high rates of post-harvest loss, it can further increase its future possibilities.
Program and B2B sessions
The webinar is aimed at African and European companies operating in the sector and investors. Strategic ideas, initiatives in the development of new technologies and opportunities to expand will be among the conference topics. The economic interests of the two continents are increasingly intertwined. And Italy, one of the world leaders in the agri-food sector, is among the leaders of this intertwining of commercial relations.
The speakers at the conference have been selected to represent the countries involved and will illustrate international trade capabilities. The case studies presented will give an overview of the technology and provide a better understanding of the economic opportunities in certain markets. The program is enriched by a panel of discussants composed of top level players chosen to stimulate an open discussion on possibilities and problems of the sector.
The event will be followed by B2B sessions (from the afternoon of September 30 to October 8). These appointments – organized at the specific request of participants and coordinated by the organization – will give participants the opportunity to meet other companies. If necessary, Andersen professionals will support the dialogue, offering their expertise in tax and legal matters.
The agribusiness sector
The mutual benefit that the two continents can derive from the agribusiness sector is the basis of the interest of Andersen and The Bridge Africa-Europe project. The search for commercial partners and outlet markets for one’s own products can bring supply and demand together and lead to improved production to meet domestic needs and export abroad.
African governments are moving to implement investments and partnerships. For example, the West Africa Trade & Investment Hub financed by USAID, the United States Agency for International Development, is supporting small-scale corn and soybean producers in Nigeria with a substantial grant so that domestic production of cereals can meet domestic demand by focusing on more modern agricultural techniques.
Nigeria’s dependence on imports is also being countered with a new regulation on genetically modified crops supported by the National Agency for Biosafety Management.
In Ivory Coast, compared with a cotton supply chain that by 2021 will reach record production levels (over 550,000 tons of seed cotton), making the country Africa’s second largest producer after Benin, coffee production has been decreasing significantly for 10 years. Europe can look at this data with interest to bring its know-how to a region that boasts an expanding market.
Ivory Coast, on the other hand, is also focusing on transforming rural areas into “wealth creation zones”, as they have been defined by the African Development Bank, AFDB, which since 2015 has quadrupled its investments in the country for the enhancement of certain areas, job creation and more inclusive economic growth. Ghana – the third country involved in Andersen’s The Bridge Africa-Europe project conference – is also betting on reclaiming degraded land, thanks to funding of over $100 million from the World Bank, approved a few weeks ago.
And again, in Ghana, cocoa bean production has reached almost 1.5 million tons this year, growing by 45% compared to the 2019/2020 season. Whereas, domestic rice production only meets 30% of domestic demand and foreign imports are increasing; and the government has made a formal commitment to increase this production because rice is the second staple food, after maize, consumed by Ghanaians.
By highlighting the existing capacity of agribusiness and the potential for development in Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast, the September 30 meeting aims to show the impact of these markets for foreign investors as well. The geographical proximity of West Africa and its production zones to the European continent – and its consumers – further promotes the economic pairing of Africa and Europe.
The Bridge Africa-Europe
The Bridge Africa-Europe project brings together Andersen professionals committed to ensuring consistent service in all countries and first-rate consulting with great attention to detail for the start-up and expansion of business on the two continents.
Andersen professionals both in Africa and in Europe promote relationships between companies and international cooperation, enhancing the development of sustainable business. And the contacts Andersen can leverage with institutions and other advisors can support businesses, implementing strategies across the organizations to promote growth and boost revenue.
Conference | Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021 | 9-11 GMT / 10-12 WAT / 11-13 CEST
B2B Sessions | Afternoon September 30 – October 8, 2021
- download the program (PDF, 272.27 KB)