ROPPA Secretary-General, Mr. Nadjirou SALL advocates for tailored financing for family agriculture at the opening of the UEMOA Banks and SMEs Fair
Yesterday, Dakar pulsated with the rhythm of the inauguration of the 9th edition of the UEMOA Banks and SMEs Fair, an event that stands as a catalyst for economic transformation in West Africa. Among the resonating voices in the discussions was that of the Secretary-General of the Network of Peasant Organizations and Agricultural Producers of West Africa (ROPPA), Mr. Nadjirou SALL. His participation in the roundtable on November 2, 2023, was a highlight, focused on the critical theme of “Financing and Investment in value chains and the revitalization of Economic Areas and Communities.”
Mr. SALL championed family agriculture, emphasizing its pivotal role in building a resilient and self-sufficient African economy. His vision for the future of agriculture on the continent goes beyond traditional frameworks; he discussed the imperative to adapt financing tools to improve access to financing for family agriculture. He is convinced that this is the cornerstone for achieving food sovereignty in Africa, a continent with abundant resources but still hampered by the challenges of productivity and food distribution.
The Secretary-General of ROPPA compellingly reminded us that family agriculture is the lifeblood of African populations where political will is present and asserted. This statement echoes the reality of a sector often overlooked by conventional financing models, which do not adequately take into account the specificity and importance of family agriculture in the economic and social fabric.
He emphatically stated: “Without strong Family Agriculture, it would be difficult to have strong and sustainable SMEs and SMIs.” This assertion highlights the unbreakable link between the prosperity of small and medium enterprises and the health of agriculture at the family scale. In a context where UEMOA companies are looking to re-energize post-pandemic and navigate the current economic climate, Mr. Sall’s words ring out as a reminder to re-evaluate priorities and support structures that form the very foundation of society.
This year’s edition of the Fair, under the high patronage of the President of the Republic of Senegal, H.E. Macky SALL, showcases the commitment of the UEMOA member states and their partners to promote SME development, considered the engine of economic recovery. It highlights the importance of support and financing for economic actors in a context where global health and security crises have disrupted traditional value chains.
The emphasis placed by the Fair on innovation and financing complements Mr. Sall’s proposals for a restructuring of financing systems in favor of family agriculture. The need for effective mentoring and support programs, facilitating regulatory measures, and strengthened collaboration between financial institutions and agricultural development actors has been clearly identified.
The challenge now is to transform these exchanges into concrete actions and effective policies. The UEMOA Banks and SMEs Fair offers the ideal platform to initiate this transformation. Participants are called upon to explore possible synergies, share best practices, and forge strategic partnerships that could mark a turning point in achieving food sovereignty in Africa.
Beyond discussions, the Fair aims to be an incubator of innovative ideas and a springboard for renewed and dynamic cooperation. With the contributions of enlightened thinkers such as Mr. Nadjirou SALL, there is hope for an African agricultural revolution, where every family, every SME, and SMI, can thrive on the promise of fertile land and a supportive community.
Communication and Knowledge Management Officer