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Since the start of 2013 Resonance has been providing technical assistance to the African Development Bank (AfDB) in order to help develop, launch, and manage the Agriculture Fast Track (AFT) Fund. The AFT is a $26.8M grant-making facility that aims to promote public and private investment in agriculture infrastructure by covering high project preparation costs that would otherwise be shouldered (or avoided) by entrepreneurs or financiers.

Last month, the AFT reached a milestone in awarding its first two grants to agribusinesses in Cote D’Ivoire and Tanzania. The grants will help Darsh Industries of Arusha, Tanzania and Ivorian cooperative FENACOVICI prepare their next phases of growth. Darsh will be using its AFT funding to perform Resonance staff worked closely with the AFT Coordinating Unit during the application review process, helping to choose the two grantees from a highly competitive pool of applicants.

These grants mark the first among the many that the AFT aims to award during its first year. The fund launched its first open call for proposals last week, and is currently accepting applications through the online tool that Resonance developed for that purpose.