Burkina Faso: the agribusiness bank now on track

Led by Burkina Faso’s Minister of Agriculture and Hydro-Agricultural Development, Salifou Ouédraogo, the project to create an agribusiness bank has been endorsed by the National Assembly.

The Burkinabe deputies, who were expected to vote on the issue, voted in favour of the bill to finance the new agribusiness bank by allocating it the sum of 5.988 billion CFA francs (9 million euros). This amount will be used in particular to improve « access to agricultural financing and support the economic transformation of the country through the emergence of an agro-industrial value chain that provides jobs, » the information site LeFaso.net points out. However, the Minister of Agriculture and Hydro-Agricultural Development was keen to point out that the agribusiness bank – despite its name – was not a financial institution strictly speaking. The information provided by the Burkinabe executive rather suggests that the agribusiness bank will be attached to the Agricultural Bank of Faso (BADF), within which it could become a facilitating window for access to agricultural credit.
Launched at the end of March 2019, the BADF was created with the intention « to be the bank for financing agriculture in Burkina Faso, a modern universal bank at the service of all Burkinabés in the countryside, » the chairman of its board of directors, Mamadou Sérémé, recalled at the time of its inauguration.

A branch of the Agricultural Bank of Faso, the institution that will oversee the agribusiness bank. Credit: BADF

Indeed, the country’s agricultural financing needs are commensurate with this ambition: Burkina Faso’s agriculture employs about 80% of the rural workforce and accounts for 35% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. With a capital of nearly CFAF 15 billion (’22 million), which is mainly provided by the Burkina Faso Economic and Social Development Fund, the National Lottery of Burkina Faso and the Civil Servants’ Pension Fund, the BADF will nevertheless have to deal with a particularly competitive banking market (fifteen financial institutions), dominated by a few major players (Coris Bank, BMCE Bank of Africa, Ecobank, etc.).

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