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UAE firms to develop land in Angola for rice and avocados

Angola UAE agricultural deal Reuters/Baz Ratner
Nigeria is a country that S&P is now watching closely
  • Africa has growing appeal among Gulf investors in agriculture
  • Maximising Africa’s farming output advances food security goals
  • Capital flows from Middle East to Africa have doubled in five years

Two UAE companies have signed a deal to develop a vast plot of land in Angola as the African agricultural sector’s appeal grows among Gulf investors.

Dubai Investments and E20 Investment, an Abu Dhabi agribusiness investment company, will develop 3,750 hectares – approximately the size of 9,300 football fields.

Maximising the potential of Angola’s fertile soil and favourable climate, the joint venture aims to produce of 28,000 tonnes of rice and 5,500 tonnes of avocados over the next 18 months.

The African agricultural sector’s appeal is growing among investors from the UAE and the wider GCC region, and is well placed to support the Gulf’s food security efforts.

Premeshin Naidoo, managing director of the Middle East at Absa Group, an Africa-focused financial institution, told AGBI last month that Africa presents “attractive opportunities” for UAE companies looking to expand.

UAE Angola agriculture dealSupplied
Dubai Investments and E20 Investment sign their Angola agricultural development deal

The UAE imports up to 90 percent of its food while it is estimated that Africa could double or treble its output of cereals and grains, crops and livestock with more investment in the sector.

“It comes down to availability of capital,” Naidoo said, “and the use of new technologies to increase yields across, especially where Africa has a shortage of water and skills.”

Khalid Bin Kalban, CEO of Dubai Investments, said: “Our collaboration aims to contribute to Angola’s food security and agricultural productivity while generating economic value for stakeholders.”

Dubai Investments is already investing in the Angolan market with the ongoing development of the Dubai Investments Park Angola.   

Sultan Al Jaberi, CEO of E20 Investment, said the joint venture would “harness Angola’s agricultural potential” and contribute to the country's economic growth and employment opportunities. 

The flow of capital from the GCC into Africa is increasing, spreading from only East Africa initially to Angola, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa, according to Standard Bank Group CEO for Middle East and North Africa, Rassem Zok.

He said last month that over the past five years capital flows from the Middle East into Africa have grown by more than 50 percent.

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