From the blog

Investing in African agro-industrial supply chains

Lodi – February 11th, 2016: E4Impact Foundation, PTP Science Park, Sace, enterprises, foundations, research centres and NGOs have met in reply to the Government appeal and to increase trade exchange with African countries.     

In the new development context of trade exchanges among Italy and African countries, supported by the recent Government missions, a meeting to verify how to increase Italian investments in African agro-food supply chains was needed.

The meeting has been held on the 11th of February in Lodi at Parco Tecnologico Padano (PTP science Park) with the participation of : E4Impact Foundation, chaired by Letizia Moratti, Sace, the Italian credit export agency, PTP and 30 entities among companies, research centres, financial institutions and NGOs.

The objective of the meeting was showing opportunities in African markets for Italian agri-food companies by promoting a partnership among private sector, the world of research, banks and insurance companies. The main proposals were to transform on-site agricultural productions, to increase the efficiency of these ones through technical support and to transfer the Italian ability to produce quality products to be sold in the local markets.

At the end of the meeting a partnership agreement was signed by Simone Uggetti, President of PTP and Letizia, Moratti, President of E4Impact Foundation. The aim is to encourage the dialogue between the world of research in agri-food fields and company training programmes carried out by E4Impact Foundation in close cooperation with African universities and Italian SMEs.

“We are convinced –claimed Letizia Moratti, President of E4Impact Foundation- that we can play a crucial role in connecting Italian companies with the opportunities in the African Continent and at the same time contributing to the food safety in these countries”.

Through First-Step Africa programme the Foundation proposes a partnership for Italian enterprises with an African talent who during his/her one-year Master will help the enterprise enter the local market.

PTP is currently involved in Africa in 5 agricultural and zootechnical research projects. During Expo PTP coordinated a project to demonstrate the efficiency and the sustainability of agricultural and zootechnical productions even in condition of limited resources, with an important participation of African delegations to its workshops.

“During EXPO we realized how wide is the demand for innovation and technologies  to increase productivity and sustainability in agriculture – explained Gianluca Carenzo, Director of Parco Tecnologico di Lodi- As Scientific Park managing an incubator and an enterprise accelerator, we believe that our mission is creating opportunities to put in contact the world of research with Italian initiatives of internationalization and to increase the number of entrepreneurs in emerging African markets.”

PTP and E4Impact Foundation know how important is scientific research for the economic and social development of African countries. They intend to work together to increase connections between projects and training programmes in business management and creating new high-impact entrepreneurs. PTP will host training modules for African students and participate with its researchers to E4Impact Foundation educational programmes.

SACE, the Italian export credit agency, in the last year has increased by 63% its business in Sub-Saharan Africa, which now exceeds one million dollars. Through “Frontier Markets” programme, SACE offers its experience acquired in emerging countries during its activities (almost 40 years) and a wide range of tailored services for SMEs which include: training workshops; advisory services in order to identify greater potential markets; business-matching meetings and risk assessment; consultancy in financial and insurance solutions to support business and investment transactions; on-site assistance offered by the offices in Johannesburg and Nairobi.

“It is necessary to find a way to integrate the offer of agri-food supply chain in the Italian context of international policies – declared Raoul Ascari, SACE Chief Global Development Officer – in order to promote the economic development in priority countries. In this way, we can create trade opportunities for our enterprises. Moreover, we have to experience other ways of public and private partnership in order to mobilize the best resources of our country. SACE intends to support these initiatives from the initial advisory phase to the financing of supply chain projects”.  



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