- Mozambique and Tanzania will be amongst the four beneficiary countries under the new scheme announced by Standard Bank to boost small farmers in Africa.
The South African bank will provide $100 million over a period of three years as loans to small farms and agricultural businesses in four African countries, which will also cover Ghana and Uganda,
According to the statement issued by the bank today, a further $10 million loan guarantee fund will be provided the Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), whose board is chaired by former UN chief Kofi Annan.
The bank said the loan guarantee fund will enable loans to businesses previously considered too risky for lending, and boost capacities for farmers and other agro businesses to get inputs that will increase yields and thereby food security.
"Our action today recognises that the global food crisis is exerting major problems in Africa," Mr Annan said at a signing ceremony in Accra, Ghana.
He said the deal signed will ensure that Africa does not have to wait while the world is consumed in the global financial crisis and aid flows are diverted elsewhere to bailout business. he also said the deal was a positive sign that local financial institutions could also bring a change and ease the burden of the food crisis.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.