Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 25 - Page 42

COUNTRY FOCUS: ANGOLA Prior to gaining independence from Portugal in 1975, Angola had a rich tradition of family-based farming and was self-sufficient in all major food crops, except wheat. But by the early 1990s, the Southern Africa country produced less than 1% of the volume it had produced two decades previously, while production of cotton, tobacco and sugar cane ceased almost entirely. However, there is a lot of potential in Angola, with the agriculture sector set to benefit from multimillion- dollar investments. ///////////////// Upturn in fortune for ICT sector in Angola E fforts to improve agriculture productivity in Angola and Lesotho has received a boost following the World Bank Board approval of a US$50 million project to increase the availability of agricultural technologies. This will be done under the ongoing World Bank financed Agriculture Productivity Program for Southern Africa (APPSA) involving three other countries in the region; Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. APPSA’s focus on agriculture technology addresses the need to improve the 42 INTELLIGENTCIO competitiveness and resilience of African agriculture using regional integration as a key mechanism to achieve higher rates of growth and poverty reduction. While agricultural productivity has increased in Southern Africa, Angola and Lesotho’s average yields are below the regional average. The project is expected to help narrow these gaps with additional investment in technology adaptation and dissemination. “This project will help researchers, farmers, extension agents, input distributors and other end users in Angola and Lesotho to strengthen linkages between themselves and other participating countries,” said Mark Cackler, World Bank Agriculture Practice Manager. “This is in line with the World Bank’s twin goal to reduce extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity.” The US$50 million World Bank financing comes from US$20 million of International Development Association (IDA) and US$25 million from International Bank of Reconstruction and Development