8 July 2021, Amsterdam.
Ms. Rosmarijn Fens, Managing Director of the Netherlands-African Business Council (NABC), is seen with Managing Director Ambassador Sheikh Mohammed Belal at the Secretariat of the CFC. Ms. Fens paid a courtesy visit today to the Common Fund for Commodities to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern.
During the discussion, Ambassador Belal briefed Ms. Fens on the current as well as probable future initiatives of the CFC. Ambassador Belal elaborated on the elements, what he termed as green recovery in a post pandemic era, to help COVID-19 wrecked smallholder and SMEs to get to their feet at the earliest. Ambassador Belal wished to see more working relations and partnership with the NABC in the days to come.
Ms. Fens appreciated the work of CFC. She expressed her happiness to see CFC’s sharpened Africa focus and hoped that NABC-CFC could do a lot, together, for a more prosperous Africa. Highlighting both ongoing as well as future programmes of NABC, Ms Fens elaborated on how her organisation working hard to make a difference in Africa through transfer of technology to more trade and business in the region.
Among others, the following points were discussed in the meeting:
- Synergies between NABC & CFC;
- The CFC’s call for proposals;
- A briefing on the effect of COVID-19 on the working of the CFC; and
- An update on the emerging reality of impact fund and its potential as captured in the CIIF (Commodity Impact Investment Facility).
Amb. Belal elaborated on how he, personally, is impressed with the level of innovation in agri-commodity value chain in this part of the world, in general, and in the Netherlands, in particular. Amb. Belal added that CFC is actively trying to work as a bridge between developed and developing world through transfer of technology and exchanges of information. Amb. Belal urged NABC to join CFC for more meaningful and sustainable transfer of technology.
Ms. Fens assured to readily engaged with the CFC and help CFC to scale up its good work in Africa and beyond. Ms. Fens also wished CFC all the success with its innovative proposals of CIIF (Commodity Impact Investment Facility) and assured to do the needful for its success.
Amb. Belal highlighted the challenges of sustainability in the LDCs (Least Developed Countries) and LLDCs (Landlocked Developing Countries) and urged NABC to explore tailor made program so that LDCs and LLDCs are provided with more resources to help themselves to continue this shared journey of sustainability.
Ms. Fens was accompanied by Mr. Dennis Acquaye, responsible for the Africa Insights Desk at NABC, to the meeting. Ambassador Belal was accompanied by Mr. Hector Besong, Portfolio and Risk Manager. Before taking leave, Ambassador Belal urged Ms. Fens to remain engaged and do the necessary follow up in the days to come.