Kwara State Government has opened talks with the African Development Bank (AfDB) on areas of partnership.
The partnership areas include road construction, small and medium scale enterprises with a focus on women empowerment, energy, and agro-processing.
The proposed partnership is the outcome of a meeting Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq had with the AfDB team in Abuja on Monday during which he spelt out the priorities of his new administration and sought the buy-in of the development body, governor’s spokesman Rafiu Ajakaye has said.
The meeting was attended by AfDB Country Director Ebrimal Faal and other top officials.
The statement said the governor identified the priority areas to include education, healthcare, infrastructure, agriculture, women and youth empowerment, and entrepreneurship; and what steps he has taken on them like the recent multi-million naira counterpart funds he released to access various development funds.
The statement quoted AbdulRazaq as saying that the administration plans to develop agribusiness and promote agro-processing with special focus on commodities like sugarcane, rice and cashew, among others.
The governor mentioned some investments in these areas to include the $350 million sugar refinery being constructed by the BUA Group and the 16,000 hectares of sugarcane plantation owned by the Dangote Group.
“Consequently, Kwara is eyeing a partnership with the AfDB for the construction of Kosubosu-Lafiagi road. There will also be further talks on how Kwara can benefit from AfDB’s initiatives like the $50 million facility to support SMEs and women-owned businesses, $200 million project for national electrification and transmission lines; and AfDB agro-industrial development through its Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone being pursued with some Chinese investors, among others,” the statement said.
A team of experts from the AfDB is expected in Kwara later in the year to identify projects in the priority areas, it added.