New York, NY – September 27, 2019 – The U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) and the Government of Niger State announce a new co-funding agreement to invest in agriculture and entrepreneurship that will create food security, new jobs, and increased incomes for Nigerians. Leaders from USADF and Niger State gathered in New York City this week for the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU).
The MoU signing was attended by USADF President and CEO C.D. Glin, USADF Board Chair Jack Leslie, Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, and several other officials from each party and special guests. The 74th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), taking place in New York City, provided the opportunity to come together and make this announcement.
The USADF and Niger State partnership is a five-year, $10 million commitment, with each contributing $1 million annually. This financial investment represents the two sides working together to provide grant funding and technical assistance to develop and support the growth of farmer cooperatives, producer associations, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Niger State, which is Nigeria’s largest state by area. The agreement will also place an emphasis on youth and women within these investments.
USADF’s country program coordinator in Nigeria and its local technical partner there – Diamond Development Initiatives (DDI) – will meet regularly with the grant recipients, providing them with access to training and other resources. USADF’s track record has proven that these types of investments and the provision of local technical assistance improve an enterprise’s productivity, grow revenues, increase incomes, and enhance market competitiveness.
Notably, this is the third partnership agreement USADF has signed with a Nigerian state government within the past year, demonstrating USADF’s mantra of “doing development differently,” while building on its blueprint for partnering with African governments. USADF and Kebbi State Government launched a partnership in October 2018 to develop and expand local agricultural enterprises in the northern Nigerian state; and USADF formed a partnership with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (an agency of the Lagos State Government in Nigeria) this past May, with the goal of providing workforce and entrepreneurship training to 15,000 youth. Each of these partnerships is a five-year, $10 million commitment.
This latest announcement will allow USADF to build on the strength of its successful programs in Nigeria, since establishing a country program there in 2001. Specifically, during the last 10 years, 2008 to 2018, USADF invested $9.5 million in Nigeria, supporting more than 100 enterprises and improving the livelihoods of 450,000 Nigerians.
USADF’s signing event in New York City also included the signing of a letter of intent between USADF and Flour Mills of Nigeria, a diversified Nigerian food and agribusiness company. Flour Mills Chairman John Coumantaros participated in the signing, confirming the commitment between the two organizations to work together to further promote the development of grassroots farmer organizations, producer associations, and SMEs in Niger State.
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About the United States African Development Foundation (USADF)
USADF is the U.S. Government’s independent African enterprise development agency. The agency invests in African grassroots and small- and medium-sized businesses; promotes local economic development; and creates pathways to prosperity for underserved communities. Utilizing a community-led development approach, USADF provides seed capital and local project management assistance to early-stage African enterprises and entrepreneurs addressing Africa’s biggest challenges around food insecurity, insufficient energy access, and unemployment, particularly among women and youth. Annually, USADF’s grant assistance generates approximately $100 million in new economic activity throughout 20 African countries.
Learn more at www.usadf.gov. Communications contact: Jarvis Holliday, email@example.com, 202-233-8856.