Source: Africa Press Organisation – English – Report:
JEDDAH, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, November 5, 2020/APO Group/ —
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) (www.ITFC-IDB.org), member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, will be releasing a series of four short documentaries on its extensive cotton sector trade finance and development interventions in West Africa. Called the White Gold Series, the documentary will air on CNBC Africa from 9 to 12 November at 16h30 Central Africa time, followed by the West Africa launch via Afrique Media TV from November 16-18 at 7:03pm CAT and November 19 at 6:33 CAT, as well as ITFC Social Media.
For over a decade, ITFC has played a fundamental role in supporting cotton production in sub-Saharan Africa, earning it the name, Cotton Bank of Africa. Also known as ‘White Gold’, cotton is a vital export crop for several West African countries thus a key source of foreign exchange earnings. In addition, the cotton sector is the main source of employment and livelihoods for whole communities in these countries. ITFC’s financing efforts in the cotton sector is over US$1.8 billion, with 23 financing operations in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, and Mali. In Burkina Faso and Cameroon, ITFC has since 2008 disbursed over US$840 million to purchase fertilizers and provide early payments or provision of inputs to cotton producers for their cotton yields. On yearly basis, ITFC’s trade financing touches the lives of around 300,000 farmers and their families accross Burkina Faso and Cameroon.
Commenting on the launch of the series, ITFC CEO, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol said: “Investments in agriculture are impactful, provided they adopt a value-chain approach that enhances productivity, promotes agro-processing, and increases access to markets. We hope that the White Gold Series, particularly now in the times of a major global pandemic, will serve as a reminder and inspiration to global development stakeholders on the need to continue to develop high-impact value chains across African OIC member countries, thereby strengthening the resilience of smallholder farming communities whose lives depend on these key commodities.”