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Bill Gates Foundation for Global Development backs Plan Senegal Emergent at the World Economic Forum

February 5, 2014Article by Ray Withers

Headline news from last week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (January 2014), reveals Senegal is the latest beneficiary of the Bill Gates Foundation for Global Development. Christopher Elias, president of the Bill Gates Foundation spoke out in support for the ambitious ‘Plan Senegal Emergent’ project, which was launched in 2013 by Senegalese president Macky Sall to develop agriculture and industry in the country and attain a sustainable growth rate of 7% for the forthcoming decade.

Mr Elias said he welcomed the cooperation between the Foundation and Senegal on water, health and education and considered the plan as one of the best ways for African states to achieve development. He also suggested it should also be implemented in other countries.

Elias said: “I have had talks with president Sall about Plan Senegal Emergent. I think it is an excellent plan to develop Senegal and serve as an example for the whole of Africa.”

Designing a new Senegalese society of economy, growth, stability and peace

The long term plan is designed to create a new Senegalese society by 2035, characterised by a competitive economy supported by strong growth and a greater redistribution across the whole territory; along with an educated local and national population, enjoying a better quality of life with stability and democracy.

The process will include a number of Government-led anchor projects centered around: structural transformation of the economy and growth; human resources, social welfare and sustainable development; and governance, institutions, peace and safety.

Agriculture set to make Senegal a “regional industrial hub”

Particular attention will be paid to the agricultural sector and its associated industries, with a drive to strengthen food security and restore a trade balance, whilst boosting the rural communities. This will be further supported by the development of social housing and is set to make Senegal a “regional industrial hub” which capitalises on the geographical assets of the area.

Senegal is an increasingly popular country for agricultural investment, with US President Barack Obama also speaking out in support during his $3.7 billion New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition initiative at the Food Security Expo in Dakar, Senegal, in June 2013.

Feeding Senegal project boosts international investment

This growing popularity is demonstrated through the Feeding Senegal project, a partnership between Property Frontiers and British-owned, Senegal-based Sunu Agro, which provides a range of agricultural and advisory services from asset acquisition through the whole agricultural value chain.

Dean Jobling, CEO and founder of Sunu Agro, explains: “Senegal has seen growth of 5% for the past few years. Through the Senegal emergent program, Macky Sall is trying to lift this to 7% year on year over the next ten years. This will be through public and private investment and partnerships of the two. He is also trying to increase the amount of funding Senegal receives from Europe and the World Bank.”

He continues: “The sectors are, of course, interesting to us as the main one is agriculture. This project can only be beneficial to Senegal and its people. Since President Sall came to office there have been many changes in Senegal and all to the good. Infrastructure and social projects which have been planned for years under the previous government are now finally being completed; and power cuts are rare where before they were commonplace and the cause of much frustration.”

Ray Withers, CEO of Property Frontiers, adds: “Senegal is a honey pot for ‘green’ investors. In today’s eco-aware world, more and more investors want to opt for assets which are healthy for both their own portfolios and the causes they support.”

Help feed the world through investment in African agriculture

Overall, Africa has a demographical advantage which few other parts of the world will be able to match over the coming decades. Now, with support from global giants such as President Obama and the Bill Gates Foundation, Senegal looks set to continue to attract a growing number of international investors.

Get in touch on +44 1865 202 700 to find out more about getting involved in the Feeding Senegal project, how you can make expected returns of 239% over 5 years and why agriculture is proving to be a leading portfolio asset for 2014 and beyond.


Ray Withers

Ray has over 17 years’ experience in the international property market and bought his own first international property investment back in 2002. Aside from running Property Frontiers, Ray has been involved in residential, hotel, student and commercial property investment and development in both the UK and overseas and co-wrote "Where to Buy Property Abroad - An Investor's Guide". As Founder and Trustee of the Frontiers Foundation, Ray is directly involved with many of its projects to ensure they have a direct and tangible impact in individual communities across the globe. He is passionate about property, travelling, scouting out new opportunities and finding time to spend with his young family.
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