The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Republic of Guinea have signed US $16.25 million financing boost rice production through the Rice Value Chain Programme. The signing ceremony took place in Conakry, the capital of Guinea during the second leg of an official tour to the West African region by IsDB President Dr. Bandar Hajjar. During the visit, Dr. Hajjar participated in a major regional conference on Waqf (endowment) and held bilateral talks with President Alpha Conde.

The financing provided by IsDB is part of the bank’s effort to support Guinea’s National Plan for Social and Economic Development (PNDES). The Regional Rice Value Chain Programme is a 10-country Regional Programme that will enhance the capacity of IsDB member countries in  strengthening the agricultural sector and achieving self-sufficiency in food production.  .

The main purpose of the project is to contribute in reducing the high rate of rice importation in Guinea, enhance economic growth through improved production and productivity in a sustainable manner, processing, and marketing, and enhance private sector participation. Upon completion the programme is expected to help Guinea increase rice production by 25 percent and achieve self-sufficiency in rice production from 69 percent  to 85 percent.

The Rice Value Chain Programme is in line with the new business model of IsDB introduced by Dr. Hajjar through the President’s 5-Year programme (P5P) which views development intervention holistically by engaging the private sector, research institutions and non-governmental organisations. The IsDB Financing includes US $2 million loan from the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development, the poverty alleviation arm of IsDB; US $5.32 million grant from the Lives and Livelihoods Fund (LLF) and US 300,000 Technical Assistance grant.

Apart from the financing provided by the bank, IsDB joined hands with the government of Guinea to organize a regional conference on Waqf (endowment). At least 45 investors from different parts of the world were brought by IsDB to the conference in an effort by the bank to support Guinea to mobilise resources and channel them for development purposes. IsDB has one of the largest Waqf facilities in Guinea. The Waqf-IsDB project has contributed greatly in improving the educational system of the country and strengthening the capacity of schools, supporting orphans and improving the living condition of the poor.

The republic of Guinea is one if the founding members of IsDB Group, and has benefited from financing worth US $982 million at the Group level.