Introductory meeting with the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS)
5 June 2023, Brussels. CFC Managing Director Amb. Sheikh Mohammed Belal recently highlighted the fund’s potential at a meeting with Mr. Escipion J. Oliveira Gomez, Assistant Secretary-General, Department of Sustainable Economic Transformation and Trade (SETT) of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS).
The Assistant Secretary-General was briefed on the activities of CFC as well as prevailing situation in the commodity dependent developing countries. Drawing the aggravating situation of poverty, hunger and malnutrition, CFC Managing Director urged OACPS to consider greater collaboration with the CFC in this shared journey of sustainability and poverty alleviation at this challenging time.
Ambassador Belal highlighted the challenges in the developing world for lack of fund and knowledge in adding value to their commodities and accompanying high climatic cost of ferrying raw commodities from one country to other. Highlighting CFC’s significant experience in implementing a good number of projects along various commodity value chains to help smallholders alleviate from poverty, Ambassador Belal expressed the organisation’s readiness to do more as, according to Ambassador Belal, the poverty situation of the smallholder farming communities has not improved in recent years, quite to the contrary.
Ambassador Belal also briefed Mr. Oliveira Gomez on the current as well as probable future initiatives of the CFC, inter alia the ongoing initiative on the formulation of a fund titled Agricultural Commodity Transformation (ACT) Fund (formerly referred to as ‘CIIF’) and thereby enabling CFC to contribute more for the alleviation of poverty. Once formed, the ACT Fund could also be an avenue for member countries as well as private enterprises to join this impact investment fund as investors.
It was mutually agreed that while the need of finance remains the central and ubiquitous issue, more support in the form of technical assistance, guarantee schemes/funds and other mechanisms of de-risking are equally important. Given CFC’s existing knowledge base through decades of experience in implementing pilots through technical assistance schemes, CFC MD also offered OACPS to consider availing CFC’s technical assistance facilities as well. Recalling significant help from both the European Union and the OACPS, CFC urged Mr Gomez also to reactivate our glorious past for a beautiful future ahead.
CFC and OACPS’s expressed their intention to pursue a closer collaboration for the benefit of SMEs and smallholder famers in their respective member countries. It may be noted that out of total 79 member states of the OACPS’s, 50 member states are also the member of CFC.