East Africa

AfDB clears over US$ 20mln for agro-pastoral project in Burundi

BUJUMBURA– The African Development Bank [AfDB] Group days ago greenlighted the award of a US$ 23.26 million grant to Burundi to implement the Agro-Pastoral Entrepreneurship and Professional Development Project for the Youth and Women.

AfDB is to fund 87.9 percent of the project to benefit women-run cooperatives while the Government of Burundi will contribute US$2.81mln, or 12.1 percent of the cost

US$ 12.20lmn of Bank Group funding is to be provided from the African Development Fund, its concessional lending window. A further US$8.25mln will come from the Transition Support Facility.

The project will be implemented from 2022-2027 by the Ministry of East African Community Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture. Its overall objective is to increase agro-pastoral output toward improving the contribution of selected sectors to GDP growth. The project also targets the structural transformation of the Burundian economy.

The specific objectives of the project are to improve the technical and professional skills of the youth and women to enhance their employability and access to export opportunities. It will also contribute to improving the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Although the two main investment sites are the Rusi Regional Training Centre and the ISABU Gisozi irrigation site, the project will have national coverage.

The beneficiaries of the project include: unemployed university, high school and secondary school graduates; youth and women’s cooperatives and groups active in agro-pastoral value chains. Teachers at the RUSI centre, institutions that finance youth and women’s initiatives, including the Programme for Young Graduates Economic Empowerment (PAEEJ), as well as private investors are also expected to benefit.

The RUSI Regional Centre is the main beneficiary in terms of vocational training and will receive multi-faceted support. Some 2,000 students [30 percent of whom are girls] will gain access to certificate or diploma courses. About 3,000 cooperatives representing 15,000 people [50 percent of whom are women] will receive capacity-building. In total, the project could create 3,000 direct and 7,000 indirect jobs.

As of 30 August 2022, the African Development Bank’s active portfolio in Burundi comprised one private sector project and 16 public sector projects with a total commitment of about US$ 321mln. The portfolio covers energy [46 percent], transport [39 percent], agriculture [11 percent], social [3 percent] and multi-sector [1 percent] projects.


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