Argentinean Ambassadors Claudio Rozencwaig (7th from right) and Alejandro Herrero (2nd from right) with Afdb Vice presidents Simon Mizrahi (6th from right) and Solomon Quaynor (center) and a Bank team in Abidjan.

Argentina Aims To Foster Stronger Ties with African Development Bank

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In a groundbreaking visit to the African Development Bank, Claudio Rozencwaig, Argentina’s Under-Secretary for Foreign Policy, has voiced a fervent desire to deepen existing collaborations and explore mutually beneficial opportunities for both Argentinean and African enterprises.

The focus? Agriculture and pharmaceuticals. This announcement was made in a recent statement on the AfDB’s website.

During his visit to the Bank’s Abidjan headquarters on September 12, Rozencwaig engaged in high-level discussions with key figures, including the Bank’s Executive Director for Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Japan, and Saudi Arabia, Takaaki Nomoto.

The Argentinean envoy was accompanied by Alejandro Herrero, Argentina’s ambassador to Nigeria.

The Argentinean Under-Secretary emphasized Argentina’s prowess in the agriculture sector, particularly in livestock production, innovative machinery, and techniques to minimize post-harvest losses.

He also highlighted their expertise in satellite imaging for research and transport, along with their capabilities in the field of animal pharmaceuticals.

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Argentina’s previous experience in participating in “triangular cooperation” agreements with donors, such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Islamic Development Bank, was brought to the forefront.

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Rozencwaig stressed Argentina’s interest in learning more about the Bank’s procurement processes, underlining their commitment to fostering collaborative endeavors.

Solomon Quaynor, Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure, and Industrialization, underlined the strategic importance of the agriculture sector for the African Development Bank, aligning with their “Feed Africa High-5” priority.

Quaynor also noted the significant issue of post-harvest losses in some African countries, a challenge the Bank is actively working to address. He identified Botswana as a potential partner for Argentinean beef producers.

Quaynor also unveiled the Africa Investment Forum Market Days scheduled for November 8-10 as an ideal entry point for Argentinean companies seeking investment opportunities in Africa.

Damian Ihedioha, Division Manager for Agribusiness, highlighted the potential of the Food and Agriculture Delivery Compacts, emphasizing their role in attracting investments and advancing climate-smart agricultural systems.

Richard Ofori-Mante, Acting Director for Agricultural Finance, emphasized the Bank’s commitment to supporting the development of Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones, emphasizing the need for agricultural machinery and the potential of satellite technology to boost productivity.

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The discussion also touched upon the Bank’s South-South Cooperation Trust Fund, originally established in partnership with Brazil but now being transformed into a multi-stakeholder trust fund that will allow Argentina to become a donor.

Eduardo Rolim de Pontes Vieira, Senior Advisor to Executive Director Nomoto, proposed the idea of attracting more Argentinean professionals to the African Development Bank, potentially through its Young Professionals program, with a recruitment seminar in Argentina being considered.

This visit comes at a pivotal moment as Argentina seeks to expand its presence across Africa, marked by the recent opening of embassies in Mozambique and Angola and the contemplation of reopening an embassy in Côte d’Ivoire. Argentina’s historical commitment to the African Development Fund and the African Development Bank further underscores the promising potential of this collaboration.

In addition to these discussions, the visit highlighted the significance of the Bank’s Business Opportunity Seminars, offering a glimpse into the future of the African Development Bank’s procurement processes, with the next seminar scheduled for October 2023.

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