Connect with us


Eritrea’s Msilam Dam to bolster food security and change lives for the better



Eritrea's Msilam Dam to bolster food security and change lives for the better

Eritrea’s Msilam Dam to bolster food security and change lives for the better.

Facility to potentially host the Bank’s Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones initiative.

Eritrea has a long coastline on the Red Sea but limited fresh water. Its erratic rainfall has left most of the country arid. This is a challenge for Eritreans who depend on agriculture and livestock for their livelihoods.

But things are changing. In the space of three years, Eritrea harnessed local engineering talent and mobilised thousands of Eritreans, including students from the country’s technical and vocational schools, to build the Msilam Dam.

Eritrea's Msilam Dam to bolster food security and change lives for the better

The dam has a capacity of 350 million cubic metres and provides clean water to the towns of Dekemhare, Debarwa, Mendefera, and smaller surrounding towns. The Eritrean government funded and built the Msilam Dam, located in the village of Gergera.

In addition to increasing the availability of drinking water, the dam is now a catalyst for transformative livestock, agricultural, and industrial production as part of the country’s national strategy and sustainable development policy. Following this success, the country also built the Adi Halo Dam.

The water in the Msilam Dam has made it ideal for dairy farming. The area is now home to the Halhale Dairy Farm, part of an agro-processing facility for meat and dairy products. The farm covers 550 hectares and started with 660 cattle in 2017. Since then, the number of cattle at Halhale has increased.

Eritrea is now looking to trusted partners like the African Development Bank Group to scale up this innovative project.

African Development Bank president Dr Akinwumi Adesina paid a two-day official visit to Eritrea last week and toured the extensive facilities with President Isaias Afwerki on Saturday.

Eritrea’s Msilam Dam to bolster food security and change lives for the better - AFDB

Afwerki said the government planned to use it as a pilot scheme to establish similar dairy farms in many parts of the country. He said this would help increase the number of dairy products and meat that people can buy at fair prices.

Adesina said that Eritrea’s Msilam Dam and the Adi Halo Dam Water Project—harnessing the power of commercial agriculture and food production—could potentially host the Bank’s Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones initiative. He said a team from the Bank would visit Eritrea in the coming weeks to start immediate planning.

“I am impressed by what I see here. There are 10,000 hectares of land to irrigate with the dam. And it is already irrigating 1,000 hectares. That is a lot of land for livestock and dairy. There are also areas where fruit and other crops are being grown. I am particularly impressed by the density of infrastructure here,” Adesina said.

The Bank’s president said the proposed special agro-industrial processing zones would mean the African Development Bank could build on the infrastructure already in place and bring in support to develop food and agricultural businesses that process and package food, fruit, horticultural production, and even floriculture for regional and export markets.

Adesina assured the Eritrean leader that the African Development Bank would support his country in developing a financial system that supports agro-industrialisation. He said he also recognised the potential of the local private sector and the Eritrean diaspora to accelerate investment in the country’s development.

Adesina said the African Development Bank would also use resources from its Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa initiative to provide access to finance for women farmers working with local banks.

The Eritrean president showed the Bank’s team around the Adi Halo Dam water project, which the government launched in 2015 to address water scarcity in the capital.

The project consists of a thirty-two million cubic metre dam, also financed and built by Eritrea to demonstrate the country’s principle of self-reliance. The dam holds fourteen million cubic metres of water from the good rains that fall between July and September each year. It uses a 2-megawatt solar power plant that provides energy to pump water to irrigate community-owned farmland.

The project has increased the availability of clean drinking water for households, helping to overcome water scarcity and improve food security.

“I came away from this visit very enthused that the country is innovating and not just copying others,” the African Development Bank president said. He commended the capacity of the Eritrean people and research institutions for their prowess in excellent engineering.

Adesina remarked: “In many countries, these dams would probably have been contracted out to foreign contractors or big engineering firms. The Eritrean people built the dams themselves. I was surprised that a lot of them were done by students.”

He asked the government to consider the possibility of using Eritrea’s engineering skills and capacity to help other countries.

Adesina said: “We must develop a way to support Eritrean engineers to assist other countries and perhaps even come up with the idea of establishing an African engineering corps that the continent can deploy to major engineering works in different countries.”

The African Development Bank is supporting Eritrea in other initiatives, including enhancing water availability for crops and livestock.

For instance, the Bank-supported initiatives have helped increase water availability for crops and livestock in the country by 220% over six years This follows the completion of sixty masonry dams built through a community-based approach. The Bank has also rehabilitated 4,780 hectares of land upstream of the dams and 4,600 hectares downstream.

African Development Bank interventions will also help to revive and revamp the fish landing sites that were completed in 2006 under the Fisheries Infrastructure Development Project.

Giving his overall impression of his two-day visit, Adesina said: “I would say that President Afewerki’s passion is infectious. When you are outside, you hear news about Eritrea, but it is different when you come here. He was with me all day on a field trip, and I admire his vision and his determination to see the emancipation of his people.”

“One of the things I admire most here is the sense of purpose, direction, determination, pride, and patriotism. The people are very determined to develop and have a sense of self-reliance and self-sufficiency. The big dams we visited are evidence of that,” Adesina added.

He pledged that the African Development Bank would provide much more support to Eritrea in many areas: from agriculture, climate resilience, energy, the blue economy, and financial market development, to special agro-industrial processing zones. He said that above all, the African Development Bank would use Eritrea’s experience to help other countries. He said the Bank would also use its Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation initiative to support the country’s wheat production and the production of other value crops.

“Nobody is going to do development for you. You have to do it with pride and have the self-belief that you can do it,” Adesina said.

The African Development Bank Group head also met with the United Nations Acting Resident Coordinator, Aeneas Chapinga Chuma, and representatives of other UN specialised agencies. He called for increased cooperation to enhance development impact in Eritrea.

The Bank and UN agencies are to continue working collaboratively to further support Eritrea’s climate resilience, skills and capacity development, energy, pharmaceutical capacity building, as well as water and sanitation, among other areas.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

More images:

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) works with World Bank in closing first to market MIGA guaranteed short-term sovereign loan



Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) works with World Bank in closing first to market MIGA guaranteed short-term sovereign loan

Through collaboration with MIGA and the Minister of Economy and Finance for Côte d’Ivoire, RMB facilitated a short-term loan to support crucial trade related initiatives

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) (, a division of FirstRand Bank Limited, has achieved a significant milestone in Africa by partnering with the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), a member of the World Bank, to extend short-term funding support on a trade-backed facility for the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.

Through collaboration with  MIGA and the Minister of Economy and Finance for Côte d’Ivoire, RMB facilitated a short-term loan to support crucial trade related initiatives.

Said Ben Bechet from RMB’s Trade and Working Capital, Structured Solutions team: “While RMB has a proud history of supporting sovereigns on the continent with their funding and capital markets requirements, this is a first of its kind facility for an African sovereign. This transaction will pave the way for further MIGA guaranteed short-term facilities across the continent to assist with developmental initiatives, critical projects and the importation of crucial goods such as food, fertilizer and medicines alongside other resources.”

Clarine Stenfert, Global Trade Finance Head and Head of UK for MIGA, said: “Through deep collaboration with RMB and MIGA, the teams were able to successfully structure and execute a process we hope to scale and introduce to other African countries. MIGA’s Trade Finance Guarantee Framework seeks to support sovereigns or sub-sovereigns across emerging markets with their trade financing requirements, alleviating the current liquidity constraints imposed by the current high inflationary environment and the retreat from markets by private sector players.”

MIGA provides political risk insurance guarantees to private sectors and investors in a broad range of sectors in developing  economies. MIGA promotes foreign direct investment into developing countries to support economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve people’s lives. MIGA fulfills this mandate by offering political risk insurance guarantees and credit enhancement to private sector investors and lenders.

“RMB’s strategy entails forging partnerships with insurance, guarantee and export credit agency providers to extend meaningful funding support to our clients across Africa. Collaboration with development financial institutions and multilaterals remains key to truly unlocking new opportunities to support our clients, concluded Bechet.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Rand Merchant Bank.

About RMB:
Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) is a leading African corporate and investment bank (CIB) and part of the largest financial services group (by market capitalisation) in Africa – FirstRand Bank Limited (which is wholly owned by FirstRand Limited). We offer our clients innovative, value-added advisory, funding, trading, corporate banking, and principal investing solutions.
With a presence in 10 African countries, we have a significant footprint on the continent. We also have access to a network of retail banks, representative offices and branches across Africa, the UK, India and the US.

At RMB we are passionate about solving problems for our clients by asking the hard questions. We challenge accepted thinking. We analyse and seek solutions beyond the obvious. We are innovative in our thinking and turn challenges into opportunities, while delivering on Traditional values. Innovative ideas. Our ability to think differently, our collaborative spirit, our client-centric solutions and our belief that great minds don’t always have to think alike, is what sets us apart.

For more information visit:

About MIGA:
MIGA was created in 1988 as a member of the World Bank to promote foreign direct investment in emerging economies by helping to mitigate the risks of restrictions on currency conversion and transfer, breach of contract by governments, expropriation, and war and civil disturbance; and offering credit enhancement to private investors and lenders. Since its creation, MIGA has issued over $76 billion in guarantees across 123 developing countries, supporting more than 1,000 projects. Over the past decade, MIGA’s guarantees have generated more than 156,000 jobs in developing countries.

Continue Reading


Equatorial Guinea and Ghana Accede to the Establishment Agreement for Afreximbank’s Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA)



The Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA), the development impact-focused subsidiary of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) (, has announced that the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Ghana have recently signed the FEDA Establishment Agreement.

This important milestone is the result of several months of cooperation between Afreximbank, FEDA and government officials in Equatorial Guinea and Ghana.

As Afreximbank member states, Equatorial Guinea and Ghana have taken another step towards closer collaborations with FEDA by signing the FEDA Establishment Agreement. This milestone marks the countries’ support for Afreximbank’s efforts to extend FEDA’s impact investing objectives across the continent.

New memberships are crucial to broaden the scope of FEDA’s interventions and its mission of delivering long-term capital to African economies with a focus on industrialization, intra-African trade and value-added exports.

Professor Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank and Chairman of the Boards of both Afreximbank and FEDA, said: “We heartily welcome the signing of the FEDA Establishment Agreement by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Ghana. The signing of the FEDA Establishment Agreement lays the groundwork for an enhanced and more effective cooperation with better access to the full range of interventions offered by Afreximbank and FEDA. This milestone builds on the solid partnership already established with both Equatorial Guinea and Ghana. The aim is to support transformative investments in these countries in the near future.”

About FEDA:
The Fund for Export Development in Africa (“FEDA”) is the impact investment subsidiary of Afreximbank set up to provide equity, quasi-equity, and debt capital to finance the multi-billion-dollar funding gap (particularly in equity) needed to transform the Trade sector in Africa. FEDA pursues a multi-sector investment strategy along the intra-African trade, value-added export development, and manufacturing value chain which includes financial services, technology, consumer and retail goods, manufacturing, transport & logistics, agribusiness, as well as ancillary trade enabling infrastructure such as industrial parks.

About Afreximbank:
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. For 30 years, the Bank has been deploying innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has launched a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Working with the AfCFTA Secretariat and the AU, the Bank is setting up a US$10 billion Adjustment Fund to support countries to effectively participate in the AfCFTA. At the end of September 2023, Afreximbank’s total assets and guarantees stood at over US$33.4 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$5.8 billion. The Bank disbursed more than US$104 billion between 2016 and 2023. Afreximbank has investment grade ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). Afreximbank has evolved into a group entity comprising the Bank, its impact fund subsidiary called the Fund for Export Development Africa (FEDA), and its insurance management subsidiary, AfrexInsure, (together, “the Group”). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.

Continue Reading


Financial Analysis: A Comprehensive Study of The Well-Being of A Country 




Financial Analysis: A Comprehensive Study of The Well-Being of A Country

Understanding the financial stability of a country requires a thorough understanding of financial analysis. In order to offer insights into the overall financial stability and overall wellness of the country, it entails evaluating a range of economic indicators, financial performance, and market movements.

In this article, we will delve into the fundamentals and importance of financial analysis in evaluating a country’s economic situation.


Ancient Beginnings:

The roots of financial analysis can be traced back thousands of years. The ancient Mesopotamians, Egyptians, and Greeks were among the pioneers of documenting financial transactions, creating basic records of assets and liabilities. These early attempts laid the groundwork for the concept of financial analysis through the study of financial statements and ledgers.

Medieval Europe:

During the Middle Ages, Europe witnessed the rise of merchant guilds and the emergence of double-entry bookkeeping. Italian mathematician and Franciscan friar, Luca Pacioli, is often credited with formalizing double-entry bookkeeping, publishing his seminal work “Summa de arithmetica, geometria, proportioni et proportionalita” in 1494. The concept of balancing debits and credits within financial records formed the basis for modern financial analysis techniques.

Industrial Revolution:

The Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries revolutionized business and the need for financial analysis grew rapidly. As companies expanded and diversified, investors began demanding more comprehensive financial reports to assess the potential risks and returns of their investments. The birth of limited liability companies further accelerated the need for financial analysis, as shareholders sought transparency in the performance of their investments.

Modern Era:

The 20th century witnessed significant advancements in financial analysis techniques. The advent of electronic computing in the mid-1900s enabled the processing and analysis of vast amounts of financial data, leading to the development of sophisticated financial models and ratios.

The Great Depression of the 1930s laid the groundwork for modern financial analysis as regulators sought effective ways to prevent future economic crises. The establishment of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1934 brought about standardized reporting requirements, including the filing of audited financial statements. This increased transparency and standardized financial reporting provided analysts with a more accurate and consistent basis for their analysis.

The Rise of Quantitative Analysis:

In the latter half of the 20th century, the growth of computing power and the availability of large data sets propelled financial analysis into new territory. Quantitative analysis, utilizing statistical models and mathematical algorithms, started gaining prominence. Financial analysts began incorporating complex mathematical methods to assess investment opportunities, risk management, and portfolio optimization.

Modern Financial Tools:

With the advent of the internet and the digital age, financial analysis has become even more accessible and data-driven. Sophisticated software programs, data analytics tools, and artificial intelligence have revolutionized the way financial data is analyzed and interpreted. In recent years, technologies like machine learning have been leveraged to develop predictive models that can assess future trends and make accurate financial forecasts.


Financial analysis is the process of evaluating businesses, projects, budgets, and other finance-related transactions to determine their performance and suitability. Typically, financial analysis is used to analyze whether an entity is stable, solvent, liquid, or profitable enough to warrant a monetary investment.

Financial analysis is a fundamental tool that allows organizations and individuals to assess the past, present, and future financial health of a business or investment. Through a systematic examination and interpretation of financial statements, ratios, and other key indicators, financial analysis helps in making informed decisions, optimizing resources, and improving overall financial performance. In this article, we will delve into the meaning of financial analysis, its prominent components, and its significance across various sectors.

Financial analysis involves scrutinizing financial data to evaluate the performance and profitability of an entity. It assists in quantifying the effectiveness of financial decisions, identifying trends, predicting future outcomes, and benchmarking against industry standards. By analyzing financial statements, investors, analysts, and other stakeholders gain valuable insights into the financial position, liquidity, solvency, and operational efficiency of an organization.


  1. Gross Domestic Product (GDP): GDP is a primary indicator used to gauge the economic performance of a nation. Financial analysts analyze GDP growth rates and its components, such as consumer spending, government expenditure, investments, and net exports. This analysis helps in determining the overall strength of the economy and identifying areas of potential growth.
  2. Trade and Balance of Payments: Trade analysis focuses on a country’s imports, exports, and balance of payments. Evaluating trade patterns helps identify sectors driving the country’s economic growth, trade imbalances, and potential risks to the economy from external factors such as changes in global demand or disruptions in supply chains.
  3. Inflation and Interest Rates: Analyzing inflation rates and interest rates provides insights into the stability of a country’s economy. High inflation erodes purchasing power, while high-interest rates can impact borrowing costs, affect consumer spending, and investment behavior. Financial analysts assess the impact of inflation and interest rates on an economy’s overall competitiveness and economic growth potential.
  4. Government Debt and Fiscal Policy: Analyzing a country’s government debt levels and fiscal policy is crucial in understanding its financial sustainability. A high level of government debt may lead to increased borrowing costs, reduced investor confidence, and potential risks to economic stability. Evaluating fiscal policies helps determine whether a country is managing its finances effectively and implementing sustainable economic growth strategies.
  5. Stock Market Performance: The stock market reflects investor sentiment and provides valuable insights into a country’s economic outlook. Analysts evaluate key stock market indices, such as the country’s primary exchange, sector-specific indices, and market capitalization trends. Monitoring stock market performance allows for an understanding of investor confidence, economic growth expectations, and potential risks to the financial system.
  6. Banking Sector and Financial Institutions: A robust banking sector is essential for economic stability. Financial analysts assess the health of the banking system by evaluating indicators such as non-performing loans, capital adequacy ratios, and the overall stability and soundness of financial institutions. Understanding the well-being of financial institutions helps gauge the potential risks to the overall economy, including credit availability, liquidity, and financial contagion.
  7. Regulatory Environment and Governance: The regulatory environment and governance play a critical role in attracting investment and fostering economic growth. Financial analysts assess the effectiveness of regulatory frameworks, transparency in financial transactions, and the overall credibility and efficiency of institutions responsible for enforcing regulations. Evaluating the regulatory environment aids in understanding potential risks and opportunities for sustainable economic development.


Financial analysis plays a vital role across various sectors, serving the following purposes:

  1. Evaluating Financial Performance: By conducting a comprehensive financial analysis, companies can assess their performance, profitability, and financial stability. This, in turn, helps in identifying areas for improvement, developing strategic plans, and making sound financial decisions.
  2. Assessing Investment Viability: Investors rely on financial analysis to evaluate the profitability and risks associated with potential investments. Through detailed scrutiny of financial data, investors can determine the financial health and growth prospects of a company, aiding in making informed investment decisions.
  3. Facilitating Lending Decisions: Financial institutions utilize financial analysis to assess the creditworthiness of loan applicants. By analyzing financial statements, evaluating ratios, and assessing the risk profile, lenders can ascertain the borrower’s ability to repay loans and make sound lending decisions.
  4. Supporting Strategic Decision-Making: Financial analysis aids in strategic decision-making, such as expansion, diversification, or mergers and acquisitions. Understanding a company’s financial position and performance provides a foundation for evaluating the feasibility and potential outcomes of such decisions.


Conducting a comprehensive financial analysis provides valuable insights into the economic landscape of a country. By evaluating indicators such as GDP, trade patterns, inflation rates, government debt, stock market performance, banking sector health, and regulatory environment, financial analysts can gauge the overall financial health, identify potential risks, and recommend strategies for sustainable economic growth. Accurate and timely financial analysis acts as a compass, guiding policymakers, investors, and businesses to make informed decisions and contribute to the overall prosperity of the nation.

Continue Reading