Sterling Bank Plc has disclosed that this year’s Agriculture Summit Africa (ASA) will hold from September 23rd to 24th, 2020, with the theme, ‘Fast Forward Agriculture: Exploiting The Next Revolution.’
The bank also said Mastercard Foundation, Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and IDH as sponsors for the third edition of the summit. Other partners confirmed to be supporting this year’s event include Flour Mills Nigeria PLC., NIRSAL and Nourishing Africa.
The emergence of Mastercard Foundation and IDH as sponsors of this year’s is indicative of significant strides in providing access to capital for women, small and medium-scale enterprises as well as smallholder farmers in the country as enunciated in last year’s post summit communique. Both organisations are strong advocates for the professionalisation of the agricultural sector and the diversification of rural economies through improved access to a range of appropriate and sustainable financial and technical services.
More than 2,500 delegates, financiers, entrepreneurs, government functionaries and agribusiness practitioners drawn from across the African continent, Asia, Europe and North America participated at the 2019 edition of the summit.
Yemi Odubiyi, Executive Director, Corporate and Investment Banking, Sterling Bank, remarked that this year’s edition would be a hybrid event – online and physical – due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic and the need to adhere to health management protocols laid down by authorities.
Odubiyi said the event was part of the bank’s commitment to the critical sectors of the Nigerian economy under its well thought-out and impact-based HEART initiative. Agriculture is one of the five sectors the bank is concentrating investment in. The other sectors are Health, Education, Renewable Energy and Transportation (HEART).
He added that the physical studios would be stationed in Abuja and Lagos for selected persons (speakers and panelists), noting that participants are required to register online via the summit’s official website.
Also speaking, Bukola Awosanya, Group Head, Agric and Solid Mineral Finance for the bank, explained that apart from financing opportunities for stakeholders, the bank would also use the summit to facilitate conversations around key areas in the sector.
Awosanya said this year’s summit would seek to enable collaboration between stakeholders to help identify and deliver actionable steps to revolutionise Nigeria’s and sub-Saharan Africa’s agri-business industries for sustained long-term growth after the pandemic.