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Efforts under way to make Africa’s Sugar Industry a catalyst for Agricultural growth

Oxford Business Group and International Sugar Organisation to team up for new focus report

Africa, December 2020: Africa, December 2020: A major initiative under way to boost sugar output in Africa and encourage sustainable intra-continental growth across the industry will be explored in a detailed focus report by Oxford Business Group (OBG), in partnership with the International Sugar Organisation (ISO).

Titled “Sugar in Africa: Building Value in the African Sugar Ecosystem”, the report will provide in-depth analysis of the industry in an easy-to-navigate and accessible format, focusing on key data and infographics relating to production across the continent. It will also feature interviews with high-level industry representatives.

The report will shine a spotlight on the newly established Africa Sugar Development Task Force (ASDTF), which will be spearheading regional efforts to reposition the industry as a catalyst for growth within the agricultural sector.

It will give a detailed breakdown of sugar production by country, providing comparative information, such as performance, yield, contribution to national GDP, imports versus exports and employment figures.

The report will also consider the challenges that producers face, led by infrastructure shortfalls, which are hindering the free trade of goods across borders. In addition, subscribers will find coverage of the key role that the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected to play in streamlining intra-regional trade and encouraging best practices.

Commenting at the partnership signing, José Orive, Executive Director, ISO, said that while the region is well advanced in terms of sugar production, attracting investment will be contingent on improving infrastructure and establishing a legal framework for free trade within Africa.

“Africa is an unusual region for us in that production has remained stagnant, at around 10m tonnes, while consumption has risen in line with demographic growth,” he said. “The Africa Sugar Development Task Force will be focusing in the coming year on securing as many long-term investments as possible, consolidating the framework for the AfCFTA and enlisting political and industry support for the industry.”

Karine Loehman, OBG’s Managing Director for Africa, added that demand growth for food, a heightened interest in food security and efforts among some nations to diversify their economies had led to a renewed focus on agriculture, which bode well for the sugar industry.

“Agriculture accounts for around 15% of Africa’s GDP, with the figure closer to 23% in sub-Saharan Africa,” she said. “While the sector requires significant investment, the Africa Sugar Development Task Force’s plans to make sugar a driver of sustainable agri-business growth will be instrumental in meeting rising demand and supporting broader economic expansion across the continent.”

“Sugar in Africa: Building Value in the African Sugar Ecosystem” will form part of a series of tailored reports which OBG is currently producing with its partners, alongside other highly relevant, go-to research tools, including a range of country-specific Covid-19 Economic Impact Assessment articles and interviews.

 

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