AfDB will support the creation of special agro-food processing zones in Mali

The African Development Bank (AfDB) will support Mali in the creation of agropoles or Special Agro-Food Processing Zones (ZSTA) in the large production basins of the Ségou and San regions (conflict zones) and Koulikoro and Sikasso ( areas of insecurity) to better enhance its past investments, and create more added value, decent and sustainable jobs for women and young people, according to the Country Strategy Paper (CSP 2021-2025) published on April 19 2021.

In a press release published on April 27, the institution predicted that Mali should thus experience an increase in the number of SMEs and SMIs created in agricultural value chains, from 5 in 2021 to 20 in 2025. “The proportion of female jobs (direct and indirect) created, so far insignificant, should reach 35% in these value chains by 2025 ”, according to the same source.

In addition, investments will be targeted towards infrastructure such as the development of three special zones in Bamako, Ségou and San and the construction of 25 agricultural processing centers in the large rural production basins ”, announces the Bad.

According to the Abidjan-based institution, the share of the agro-food sector in the gross domestic product over the period is expected to rise from 3.3% to 5%, the transit time of a freight truck at the border between the Côte d’Ivoire and Mali should drop from 24 hours to only 3 hours, the national electricity access rate should increase from 50% to 65% and from 21.1% to 31% in rural areas.

As for the contribution of renewable energies in the total energy supply, it is expected to increase, from 23.3% to 35.5% between 2021 and 2025, predicts the AfDB, which adds that some 130 positions will be created for women in energy projects in 2025 (compared to zero in 2021), the jobs created in transport will increase sharply for young people (from 0% to 80%) and for women (from 0% to 10%).

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