AfDB pledges to support Eritrea, Africa’s blue economy
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has pledged to support the Eritrean government in developing its blue economy, industrial processing zones, financial markets and agriculture and energy.
The President of AfDB, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, stated this during his visit to the President of Eritrea, Isaias Afwerki recently. Adesina said he was impressed at the country’s sense of purpose, direction, commitment, determination to develop, nationalism, patriotism, self-reliance and self-sufficiency as well as talents, skills and innovations.
He said the bank will ensure the country benefits in the area of the blue economy, especially through aquaculture, marine resources as well as the fishing sector.
Adesina said the bank will also assist the Eritrean president to develop special agro-industrial processing zones, develop infrastructure, food and agricultural businesses to enable it to process packaged food and fruits for export.
Adesina commended the country for its investment in livestock with a lot of dairy farms as well as plantations for fruit cultivation and coffee production.
He said the bank will also boost horticulture production, especially flower production for regional markets and exports. Adesina further listed other support of the bank to the country including investment in energy, solar and wind power. He expressed pleasure on the 33 million cubic metres of water and the 10,000 hectares the country wants to irrigate, with 1, 000 hectares already done.
“I was impressed with the density of infrastructure. President Isaias Afwerki, took me to see an area where they were doing irrigation and instead of doing the regular pivot irrigation, it has one that you can do from the top. Again, credit to the fact that they are innovating themselves. They are not copying from others,” he said.
The AfDB boss said the Eritrea dam is being constructed by its local engineers from the research institutions, unlike other countries that contract it out to foreign contractors.
He also expressed delight at the level of talent and skills in Eritrea, noting that the tanks for pumping water to irrigate and for households are constructed by students, which he said in other countries would have been done by big engineering firms.
Adesina pledged the bank support to develop skills and capacity in the country to help other countries in Africa, especially in engineering.
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