Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) - Employment Opportunities Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) - Employment Opportunities: "Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) is a charitable organisation which has been set up to improve the business climate in Africa. Its funding comes from a mixture of multi and bilateral financiers and corporate organisations. The operations of the ICF are overseen by a Board of Trustees. The ICF Headquarters is in the process of being set up in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The Chief Executive Officer has been appointed and now wishes to recruit four Directors."

Everybody Go To

Everybody Go To: "Everybody Go To
Today, May 28, 2007, 2 hours ago"

Intel Capital Homepage

Intel Capital Homepage: "Intel Capital

Investing in innovative companies is our mission.
Intel Capital is a global commitment aimed at investing and supporting profitable enterprises that will drive internet growth, enable new usage models, and advance industry standards. We build companies using our worldwide customer base, technological knowledge, extensive access to capital, and the power of the Intel brand. While financial return is imperative, our greater mission is to spur innovation and inspire the entrepreneurial spirit to thrive"

Foreign Policy: Seven Questions: Wiring the World’s Poor

Foreign Policy: Seven Questions: Wiring the World’s Poor:

" PCs can be assembled and made by local entrepreneurs. Secondly, the content is important. Typically, content is created locally; it’s not created by an outside third party. So it creates economic opportunity in the delivery as well as economic development in the use. "

Welcome To Accelon Ghana

Welcome To Accelon Ghana: "With a staff strength of over 20 professionals in Ghana, Accelon has delivered 185 broadband via VSAT sites to customers in Ghana.

Accelon has launched the first ever e-Education package for schools by partnering with Standard Trust Bank Ghana Limited and in collaboration with ICT Education Support Africa Foundation to offer affordable financing at competitive rates for qualifying educational institutions towards Broadband Internet access via VSAT anywhere in Ghana."

>>Africa Venture Partners <<

JOHANNESBURG 16 January 2006: Dr. Al-Mansour, an Africa Venture Partners board member, broadens his activity in Africa by supporting Prince Al-Waleed bin Talaal’s new investment initiatives on the Continent. The Prince, through Kingdom Holdings, has significant interest in two recently initiated private equity funds focused on Africa, with over $500 million of available capital.

Dr. Al-Mansour has been an active private investor in Africa for over 35 years and has traveled with Prince Al-Waleed to visit over 40 African heads of state to discuss investment opportunities.

Dr. Al-Mansour joined the Africa Venture Partners’ board of directors almost from inception of the company, and continues to provide tireless support and strategic direction."

>>Africa Venture Partners <<

>>Africa Venture Partners <<: "AVP was instrumental in developing the African growth strategy as a member of the Elephant Consortium, which purchased the Thintana stake in Telkom in a $1 billion transaction.

Accelon was conceptualized 4 years ago by founding shareholder AVP to be Africa’s leading broadband provider with initial focus on West Africa, at a time when MTN had not yet launched in Nigeria. At that time, AVP attracted the Industrial Development Corporation as the financial equity partner and SES Astra, Europe’s largest satellite operator, as the strategic equity partner.

Accelon has now been operating for nearly 2 years, was the fastest growing broadband satellite IP provider in Nigeria and Ghana during the last year, and is now rapidly approaching break-even.
AVP’s strength is based on its partners’ diverse backgrounds, ranging from telecommunications development, private equity to purely entrepreneurial, but all have extensive African experience in common. The partners are Robert Tibbs (Swiss), David Keast (South African), Eric Wright (USA), Moetapele “Eta” Motlhabi (South African) and Fred Moturi (Kenyan). AVP and its principals have done extensive work with the major operators and financial institutions in South Africa over the years."

MENAFN - Middle East North Africa . Financial Network News: Venture Capital Fund to Help Create Sustainable Growth

MENAFN - Middle East North Africa . Financial Network News: Venture Capital Fund to Help Create Sustainable Growth: "Dr. Adnan Soufi

Last month's announcement that Intel will take active role in the growth of the information and communication technology (ICT) in the Middle East with the establishment of a $50 million venture capital fund to invest in technology companies developing innovative hardware, software and services in the region covering the Middle East and Turkey, represents a significant milestone in helping create sustainable growth, development and competitiveness of the region. This fund will be in addition to an independent $100 million venture capital investment company to invest in technology companies located in, or having a connection with, Saudi Arabia, which is to be established by Intel Capital and the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA). "

ECA Business Plan Launched

ECA Business Plan Launched / Technology - UN warning to Silicon Valley over digital rift / Technology - UN warning to Silicon Valley over digital rift: "UN warning to Silicon Valley over digital rift
By Richard Waters in San Francisco
Published: March 2 2007 00:27 Last updated: March 2 2007 00:27
Silicon Valley has been slow to develop technology and business approaches specifically suited to customers in the emerging world, according to representatives at a UN-sponsored gathering in the US technology heartland this week." Ethiopia: Chinese to Fund Future AU Hqs (Page 1 of 1) Ethiopia: Chinese to Fund Future AU Hqs (Page 1 of 1): "The delegation to the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation which charted a new strategic partnership between China and Africa concluded, putting in place a new and higher level of China-Africa cooperation. It envisages that over the next three years, Chinese development assistance for Africa would double. It also stipulates that the government of China would provide five billion dollars in loans and investment credits to African countries.
The Caretaker Administration granted a plot in the Kirkos district, around Kera, to the AU three months ago for construction of the AU headquarters. The plot formerly belonged to Addis Abeba Penitentiary Administration, which has since moved to Kaliti."

Global Digital Solidarity Fund - The 1% principle

Global Digital Solidarity Fund - The 1% principle: "the “1% digital solidarity” principle

Any public institution or private company that wishes to contribute to reducing the digital divide, providing access to knowledge and building a more equitable information society is invited to apply this principle."

Africa: Innovative Financing

Africa: Innovative Financing: "Africa: Innovative Financing
AfricaFocus Bulletin
Sep 30, 2006 (060930)
(Reposted from sources cited below"

Global Digital Solidarity Fund - Structure

Global Digital Solidarity Fund - Structure: "Structure
The Global Digital Solidarity Fund (DSF) is a foundation governed by Swiss law, domiciled in Geneva and placed under the surveillance of the Swiss Confederation.

The DSF is organized according to the rules of new international governance, with a Foundation Board representing the public sector, the private sector and civil society. The functions of its various bodies are defined in the Statutes of the DSF Foundation.

As a financing institution, the DSF has two specific characteristics:

firstly, its funding principle: “one percent for digital solidarity”, an innovative financing mechanism specifically devoted to reducing the digital divide.
secondly, its intervention principle: to finance community development projects requiring information and communication technologies (ICT) that respond to the needs of the populations and are adapted to conditions in the field and respectful of local know-how."

Global Digital Solidarity Fund - The DSF’s vision for reducing the digital divide by 2015

Global Digital Solidarity Fund - The DSF’s vision for reducing the digital divide by 2015: "The DSF’s vision for reducing the digital divide by 2015
Thanks to new opportunities offered by innovative information technologies, an information society in which solidarity prevails is no longer a utopian dream. Achieving the Millennium Development Goals is now a real possibility.

Since its creation two years ago, the Global Digital Solidarity Fund has supported the idea that reducing the digital divide and achieving the Millennium Development Goals rests on five concepts: connectivity, accessibility, content, training and solidarity. These objectives are now shared by public authorities and the private sector"

Africa Business Club of The Harvard Business School

Africa Business Club of The Harvard Business School

Business Action for Africa - Theme overview

Governance & transparency

Good governance is the foundation of economic growth and poverty reduction. The international community should support and encourage the efforts of African governments to strengthen governance standards and to fight corruption, including through the African Peer Review Mechanism and through implementation of the UN Convention Against Corruption.

The APRM is an important framework by which to plan, measure and assess reforms. To date, twenty-six countries have signed up to the Africa Peer Review Mechanism and the country review process is underway in twelve. Ghana, Rwanda and Kenya have completed their reviews and agreed to recommended plans of action.

The Africa Progress Panel notes that "The World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators show that several countries in Africa have made substantial improvements on the dimensions of governance, including accountability, political stability, government effectiveness and rule of law".However, much remains to be done – to turn the APRM analysis into action, to embed good governance and transparency and to tackle widespread corruption. Corruption is not a phenomenon that is confined to Africa but many African countries rate poorly in international surveys and the perceived prevalence of corruption in many African countries is a significant barrier to investment. Moreover, because of its lack of resources and resilience, corruption in Africa will tend to have a disproportionate impact upon governance systems and the life chances of ordinary people and small businesses in Africa. Business must play its full part in tackling corruption and must take an uncompromising stance of zero tolerance to bribe giving.

Business Action for Africa welcomes the continued expansion of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and calls on the international community to consider the potential for similar initiatives in other key sectors and whether there are sufficient incentives for the implementation of such good governance initiatives. Fifteen resource-rich African countries have endorsed the EITI which focuses on good governance in the resource sector. Twenty-three companies are also taking part in the initiative. We call upon the international community to recognise and reward those countries which implement EITI and follow-on transparency initiatives in full. We also urge those resource-rich countries in Africa which have not, to date, adopted the EITI to do so.

Business Action Against CorruptionA flagship governance programme for Business Action for Africa led by Royal Dutch Shell, this involves action against corruption within both the public and private sectors in Botswana, Cameroon, Malawi, Nigeria, Zambia and the SADC region, with country interest to participate from Namibia, Lesotho, Mauritius, Madagascar, Egypt and Tanzania. Examples of activities include codes of conduct in Malawi, guidelines for disclosure in Botswana, new integrity code in Nigeria, areas for action identified in Cameroon. The programme is managed by the Commonwealth Business Council.


Trade has the potential to be a powerful engine for Africa’s development, a failure to achieve a trade deal over the next couple of months would be unacceptable. As businesses investing across the continent, we recognise the importance of a successful and ambitious outcome to the current trade round – for the global economy, for Africa and its people, and for business. We call on governments, as an urgent priority, to reinvigorate their efforts to achieve a positive conclusion to the Doha Development Round.

Breakdown would undermine the credibility of the WTO – leaving the rules-based trading system increasingly marginalised and global economic growth would inevitably suffer. If the talks are to succeed, developed countries have to eliminate policies that undermine growth in developing countries. Such policies are both anti-poor and anti-business.

Key priorities are:
  • 1. An end to agricultural subsidies;
  • 2. The provision of duty-free and quota-free access for all products exported from Least Developed Countries, along with relaxation of Rules of Origin requirements for Least Developed Countries;
  • 3. Support, through additional donor funding and technical support (“Aid for Trade”), to build Africa’s capacity to trade including support for trade facilitation and customs reform;
  • 4. The reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade between African countries – as part of the much needed effort by African governments to stimulate intra-African trade. This must include to improved regional infrastructure and enhanced customs administration.

Business Action for Improving Customs Administration in Africa (BAFICAA)Led by Unilever, BAT, SITPRO and Diageo, is a flagship trade facilitation programme of Business Action for Africa. On the basis of a business-focused study (conducted by consultant Andrew McTiernan), recommendations are now being tested in East Africa (by PricewaterhouseCoopers), West Africa and shortly in Southern Africa. For more information, click here.

Youth employment

Accelerating economic growth and stimulating private sector development are the primary means through which African countries will be able to tackle unemployment and underemployment in the continent.

Alongside this, we call for specific efforts to improve the quality of technical and vocational education and training programmes, with strong private sector participation in design and delivery. This should form part of a wider effort to revitalise Africa’s institutions of higher education, to develop its capacity in science and technology, and to foster leadership and business skills.

Given the high levels of youth unemployment (21% of young people are openly unemployed in Sub-Saharan Africa), a particular emphasis should be placed on providing the conditions for a substantial increase in youth employment and youth entrepreneurship throughout Africa. Business Action for Africa calls for a specific international initiative on youth enterprise building on existing efforts, such as the Youth Employment Network (YEN

Enterprise & Employment

A vibrant and successful private sector is key to sustainable growth. More must be done to help small and medium enterprises access capital, skills and training, and opportunities to trade so that they can grow within the formal economy.Alongside the priorities set out above, particularly on the investment climate, infrastructure, governance and trade, Business Action for Africa supports the proposal in the Commission for Africa Report for the creation of an Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) and calls on governments to provide the resources required to make it effective.

It is particularly important that the AECF support the growth of enterprises in the agriculture sector, given the importance of this sector to the livelihoods of the vast majority of poor people, and to the growth and employment prospects across the wider economy.
  • The international community and national governments should draw on the skills and investment resources of the African Diaspora worldwide.
  • The Diaspora has a key contribution through the transfer and sharing of entrepreneurial skills and investments, and this should be supported. In particular, support should be given to enable the Diaspora to more effectively channel remittances to invest in the small and medium enterprise sector.
BAA Enterprise Development Project
Jointly led by Anglo American, Barclays, Rio Tinto, SABMiller, Shell Foundation and Unilever, this is exploring the scope for collective action on enterprise development – including, for example, joint business development services, vocational and technical skills training for young people, employee engagement, sharing of best practice and advocacy.
The scoping report project was managed by IBLF and supported by Accenture Development Partners.

Human Devt -Business Action 4 Africa

Strengthening education and health systems is central to enabling people to participate fully in the economy, and is vital to long-term business growth. Business Action for Africa welcomes the renewed national and international focus on the need to strengthen African health care systems, particularly in connection with the fight against HIV/AIDS. We welcome the increased availability of treatment and the leadership shown by the private sector in many countries, especially in the promotion of Voluntary Counselling and Testing and treatment programmes.

The involvement of the business sector is critical in helping to scale up effective responses to the epidemic, especially in countries where the public health sector faces severe resource constraints – but also for the simple reason that the majority of HIV+ individuals work.

  • First, as employers, businesses can ensure that they have in place appropriate policies to address the prevention, care and treatment needs of their employees and families.
  • Second, businesses are sharing lessons learned with small, medium and large enterprises in their supplier and customer networks and in communities where they operate, where they can support local initiatives in prevention, education and other areas.
  • Third, there is also considerable opportunity for business to support and enhance existing public sector programmes through partnerships at the national level to leverage industry infrastructure, expertise and other resources that complement public sector activities. Whether companies are located in London or Lilongwe, HIV/AIDS is a core business issue, threatening workers, customers and communities.

Business Action for Africa HIV/AIDS Project

In partnership with the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (a Business Action for Africa member), IBLF and the South African Business Coalition on HIV and AIDS (SABCOHA), we are organising a visit of UK MPs to South Africa to learn about good practice in relation to corporate action on HIV/AIDS, including workplace programmes.

Perceptions of Africa - Business Action 4 Africa

YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

YouTube - Mobile Technology 4 Africa

Business Action for Africa

Business Action for Africa calls on African governments to continue their efforts to improve the business climate and to tackle the barriers to, and reduce the costs of, doing business. As highlighted by the World Bank’s Doing Business Reports, the Commission for Africa and others, all successful economies are those that have made progress in reforming their investment climates: overcoming onerous bureaucratic requirements; making financial markets work effectively to enable access to capital; tackling sometimes counter-productive regulation; strengthening insecure property rights; and ensuring effective contract enforcement as part of an effective legal system. Such reforms are particularly important for helping smaller businesses to move into the formal sector and grow.Business Action for Africa calls on governments to reiterate their support, and broaden the funding base, for the Investment Climate Facility. Private sector contributions to the ICF, initially led by Business Action for Africa members Anglo American, Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever and SAB Miller have helped to leverage a total fund of some $150 million.As a group, we are optimistic about the prospects for Africa. Recent economic growth has at least in part reflected improved governance and investment climates. The Africa Progress Panel reports that "Foreign Direct Investment into Africa doubled between 2004 and 2005 to an unprecedented US$32 billion, with most of the increase going into the natural resource sectors, especially oil".According to the World Bank, in 2006 2/3 of African countries made at least one reform, and Tanzania and Ghana rank among the top 10 reformers. While Africa in the last two years was the slowest reforming region in the world, this year it is the third fastest, after Eastern Europe and the OECD high-income countries. South Africa and Mauritius are among the world’s top 30 places in terms of ease of doing business. In Côte d’Ivoire registering property took 397 days in 2005. Reforms eliminated a requirement to obtain the urban minister’s consent to transfer property. Now it takes 32 days. Burkina Faso cut the procedures for starting a business from 12 to 8 and the time from 45 days to 34. Madagascar reduced the minimum capital for start-ups from 10 million francs to 2 million. Tanzania introduced electronic data interchange and risk-based inspections at customs. The time to clear imports fell by 12 days. Gambia, Nigeria and Tanzania reduced delays in the courts.We are also encouraged by the fact that since its start in October 2003, the Doing Business project has inspired or informed reform. Mozambique is reforming several aspects of its business environment, with the goal of reaching the top rank on the ease of doing business in southern Africa. Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger are competing for the top rank in West Africa. Mauritius has set a goal of reaching the top 10 on the ease of doing business by 2009.However, African nations still impose the most regulatory obstacles on entrepreneurs. In Sao Tomé and Principe it takes an estimated 192 days to start a business, in the DRC, 155. In Zimbabwe the cost of starting a business is equivalent to 1,443 per cent of income per capita, in Sierra Leone it is 835 per cent. According to the UN trade and development body, Africa’s share of FDI remains low (under 2 per cent of global FDI inflows) and has been on a downward trend for three decades. One study shows that around 40 per cent of African private wealth is held outside Africa.On infrastructure, efforts must continue to tackle Africa’s infrastructure weaknesses and Business Action for Africa welcomes the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa, as a platform for enhancing donor co-ordination and generating additional resources. The Infrastructure Consortium for Africa, launched in 2005, aims to enhance donor co-ordination, promote infrastructure in national policy planning, mobilize additional funds and tackle issues such as project preparation capacity. It has already achieved some important successes, securing funding decisions on eleven regional projects from NEPAD’s Short Term Action Plan, worth US$ 740 million. It is important that the Consortium establishes mechanisms through which business and civil society can engage in constructive dialogue with it. Concerted action needs to be taken, as highlighted by the Commission for Africa, to meet the costs of the infrastructure gap in Africa – equivalent to around an extra US$20 billion a year, including US$10 billion a year in extra external financing.

YouTube - My Favorites

YouTube - My Favorites Business Devt in Africa

The investment climate in Africa:

  • 34 Sub-Saharan Africa suffers from low domestic and foreign investment, high capital
    flight and low remittance flows, relative to other developing countries. At 18 per cent,
    Africa’s investment-to-GDP ratio is below the average of 24 per cent for all developing
    countries and the lowest of any developing region48. Only six to seven per cent of foreign
    direct investment (FDI) and around five per cent of remittances flowing to developing
    countries go to sub-Saharan Africa49. It is estimated that around 40 per cent of private
    wealth is held outside Africa compared to three per cent for South Asia50.
  • 35 Africa has been an unattractive continent for investment both by Africans themselves
    and by outsiders. The challenge is to generate an environment where Africans want to
    invest in their own farms, businesses, countries and continent, and which attracts greater
    flows of foreign investment.
  • 36 There has been a growing recognition of the importance of what is referred to as the
    ‘investment climate’ – and of what domestic governments, developed countries, the business community and civil society can do to enhance it. As in most developing countries, the bulk of investment in Africa is domestic: around 80 per cent against 20 per
    cent for foreign investment51. This means the focus must be on the domestic investment
    climate. But getting the investment climate right for domestic firms will also bring more
    foreign investment and remittances.
  • 37 A commitment was made in the G8 Africa Action Plan52, agreed at the 2002 G8
    Summit in Kananaskis and reinforced at the 2004 G8 Summit in Sea Island, to supporting investment climate improvement – in recognition of its importance to growth. And this is the focus of the 2005 World Development Report, ‘A Better Investment Climate For All’53. The report finds that enhancing the investment climate can accelerate economic growth significantly. It notes that getting the investment climate right for agriculture and in rural areas is of particular importance for many of the poorest people.

    38 The benefits of an enhanced investment climate can be far-reaching: in Uganda, which underwent widespread investment climate reforms, GDP grew by around seven per
    cent per year during 1993-200254, reducing the share of the population living below the
    poverty line from 56 per cent in 1992 to 35 per cent in 200055. In Tanzania, an improvement in the investment climate is behind the country’s fastest growth in 15
    years56. In Mozambique, investment climate improvements resulted in a doubling of
    private investment as a share of GDP between 1998 and 200257. A study of 10 countries,
    including seven in sub-Saharan Africa – Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania,
    Uganda and Zambia – linked increased growth of 2.4 to 4.8 percentage points to
    improved property rights, commercial justice and deregulation58.
  • 39 This picture is reflected in other regions. A study on India concluded that “if each... state could attain the best practice in India in terms of regulation and infrastructure, the
    economy should grow about two percentage points faster, and 3.2 percentage points in
    poor climate states”59. In China, improving property rights, starting with agriculture 25 years ago, helped lift 400 million people out of poverty60. In Ukraine and elsewhere, investment climate reforms have resulted in an increase in jobs between 15 and 35 per cent61.
  • 40 But many barriers to investment remain in Africa, increasing the risks and costs of
    doing business. Issues relating to governance, including the transparency, accountability
    and effectiveness of governments, feature highly in surveys of investors62. And they were
    also identified as priorities by the Commission for Africa Business Contact Group, a group
    of investors with extensive experience of investing in Africa63. Policy unpredictability and
    macroeconomic instability are among the highest concerns64. Improving policy predictability can increase investment by up to 30 per cent65.
  • 41 Other important factors relating to governance that are identified in studies and
    surveys include the quality and accountability of public financial management systems, the predictability and transparency of taxation66, the nature of business regulation, the level of corruption, and an effective and fair judiciary67. Robust competition laws and policies, with strong institutions to enforce them, are vital to improving productivity and to promoting innovation and better prices68. Political instability, conflict and crime are also key issues for investors69. As discussed below, these factors are exacerbated in post-conflict countries, making it difficult to attract the private investment needed. Governance is discussed further in Chapter 4, while peace and security are the subjects of Chapter 5.
  • 42 Weak governance has also translated into poor service delivery, with weaknesses in
    health, education and infrastructure pinpointed as key issues in our business consultations. Given the significance of the infrastructure gap in Africa, and the scale of the challenge this represents, it is looked at separately in section 7.3.2. Proposals to strengthen health and education systems are set out in Chapter 6.
  • 43 Weak governance matters from another perspective. In many high-growth countries – China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and, in Africa, Botswana and Mauritius – the state has played an important and active role: in attracting investment; encouraging restructuring, diversification and technological dynamism; boosting productivity, competitiveness and exports; and securing long-term growth. While all have promoted effective property rights, contract enforcement and sound macroeconomic policy, these different countries have adopted very context-specific approaches. In all cases the state has played an important role70, with a focus on unleashing private entrepreneurship.
  • 44 In the case of Mauritius, an exported-oriented strategy – based on an Export Processing Zone – was combined very successfully with a high level of trade protection for domestic industry until the mid-1980s. Botswana, similarly, combined a ‘market. friendly’ environment with substantial state activities in certain areas71. An important lesson from these cases is that the quality of government action matters, and therefore so too does its capacity. Past policies that undermined the capacity of governments must be avoided. Governments, and donors, must adopt a creative and flexible approach to promoting long-term growth, with the precise mix of policies reflecting the country-context.

  • 45 Many barriers to investment in Africa are exaggerated due to ‘Afro-pessimism’. Africa
    often appears to be seen as one large risky country72, with little understanding of its diversity – driven by negative media coverage and a lack of country-specific knowledge among investors. But the perceived investment climate is as important as the actual one and so addressing negative perceptions is an important part of encouraging investment.

  • 46 Small enterprises suffer most from a poor investment climate73. Access to credit and
    other financial services is important to growth and investment, yet few small businesses
    or individuals are able to get the access they need. This partly reflects a lack of access to
    property rights for the majority of poor people: formal legal title to homes and land are
    often required as collateral to obtain commercial credit74. More generally, effectively
    enforced property rights are important for reducing investment costs and risks75. Only one per cent of the land in sub-Saharan Africa has been officially registered with title deeds and most of this is for high-income groups76. An example of the failure to register land is that provided by Dar es Salaam, which received over 200,000 applications for plots between 1990 and 2001 of which only about 8,000 plots were allocated officially. The
    situation is aggravated by the fact that in many African countries there is no financing
    mechanism for housing.
  • 47 Recommendation: African governments must unleash the strong entrepreneurial spirit of Africa’s people. To promote this, donor governments and the private sector should co-ordinate their efforts behind the proposed Investment Climate Facility (ICF) of the African Union’s NEPAD programme. This requires US$550 million from donors and the private sector over seven years to identify and overcome the obstacles to doing business.
  • 48 It is clearly the responsibility of African governments to prioritise and take action to
    enhance the investment climate. Through AU/NEPAD, particularly in the context of the APRM, an African-led process is underway to identify priorities and share best practice from across the region. The ICF is an initiative supported by and in support of AU/NEPAD involving joint action by business and government working together to identify and act on key obstacles. The ICF will provide technical assistance to governments to improve the investment climate in support of AU/NEPAD’s aim of ‘making Africa an even better place to do business’.
  • 49 The ICF is complementary to existing efforts in Africa, has African ownership and is
    able to address many barriers to investment in a dynamic way. It has the flexibility needed to reflect the country and sectoral diversity across the region, and is private sector-led. This independent, pro-active and responsive grant facility will combine resources from the private sector with the donor community: an amount of US$550 million is required over seven years. The major share of resources will need to come from donors, but it is intended that the private sector’s share should be significant. Resources should be built up over time subject to review77. Donors should stand ready to co-ordinate their efforts behind identified actions, and many have already expressed an interest in funding the facility. Support for the ICF was recommended by the Business Contact Group and welcomed throughout our private sector consultations78.
  • 50 It is estimated that the facility will fund over 300 projects, mainly in the 24 African
    countries signed up to the APRM. It will act on issues highlighted by the APRM, the World. Bank’s Investment Climate Assessments and Doing Business Reports, and other processes. It will also be informed by analysis coming out of the proposed Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (section 7.4.1) and Growing Sustainable Business initiative (section 7.4.3).

  • 51 The ICF will focus on: putting in place appropriate policies, legislation and regulations;
    ensuring more effective business friendly administration and implementation of policies;
    enhancing competition policy; facilitating improvement of support and services to the private sector; increasing dialogue between the private sector and government on investment climate reform, including on infrastructure priorities, by strengthening the private sector voice through mechanisms such as chambers of commerce, employer federations and investment councils79. The ICF will also address issues such as corporate governance, crime, security, corruption, HIV and AIDS and malaria, particularly emphasising the private sector response to these.
  • 52 It will also support financial market strengthening and the promotion of integrated regional capital markets, including encouraging the standardisation of financial regulation and shared regulatory capacities across countries; increased access to credit information; and simplifying systems for remittance transfers. The role of credit bureaux in boosting credit supply by providing small enterprises with a financial track record was also highlighted during our consultations80. As part of efforts to promote enhanced access to credit and financial services the ICF will invest in better information on the demand for financial services and gaps in provision. This would help to identify new market opportunities for financial institutions, and help governments to tackle policy related barriers to widening access to formal financial services. The ICF could support, for example, the extension of Finscope81 surveys of access and usage throughout Africa in order to address this gap.

  • 53 The ICF will undertake major programmes to tackle issues regarding property rights, taking registries more efficient and providing legislative drafting and legal expertise to government, acknowledging the governments’ role in driving and owning these changes.

  • 54 Importantly, the ICF will address negative perceptions by giving significant publicity to investment success stories, including through media campaigns to publicise African success stories. It could also complement work on sovereign ratings82 (for example, initiatives by UNDP with Standard and Poor83, and by the US State Department with Fitch84), including by supporting countries that are in the “preparation phase” for a sovereign rating.
  • 55 These projects will take place over seven years and, based on the effect investment climate improvements have had in the past, will support poverty reduction and increased jobs, private investment and economic growth.
  • 56 As noted above, the risks and costs of doing business are particularly high in postconflict countries. And yet there is a critical need to re-establish growth quickly in these countries to ensure they do not regress into conflict. Private investment is key to this, and political risk insurance (PRI) provided by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) – a part of the World Bank Group that provides insurance to private investors – can help. As its Convention presently stands, MIGA, can only provide PRI to foreign investors. Yet, in a post-conflict situation, domestic investors will normally be of particular importance. While other factors dominate, notably commercial risk, domestic investors could have a special interest in protection from expropriation risk, to which they are especially exposed. The aim would be to design a Post-Conflict Guarantee Facility to provide cover to domestic, as well as foreign, investors for political risks.

  • 57 Recommendation: Developed countries should support a fund of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency to insure foreign and domestic investors in postconflict countries in Africa. Support should also be extended to domestic investors across sub-Saharan Africa.

  • 58 MIGA would leverage an amount of US$80 million of donor contribution to create a fund of US$500 million covering the World Bank’s list of 16 conflict-affected African countries85 and with the ability to include countries that may go into conflict in the future. Official Export Credit Agencies, private insurers and MIGA would contribute to insurance along side the fund. About 60 projects of between US$5 million to US$15 million would be insured, thus enabling 60 new investments that otherwise would not have taken place. The investment projects would be carefully selected so as to have the highest developmental impact. Of course, it should be noted that providing insurance for investments is only part of a much wider effort needed to increase investment flows, including through the changes to the investment climate outlined earlier.
  • 59 A need for such services exists in other African countries as well. Over the longer term, MIGA should work towards extending its focus beyond foreign investors to include domestic investors throughout its operations to cover all (non-conflict) African countries.

The Commission for Africa

“We, the Heads of State and Government of the African Union... [are]
concerned that at the current growth rates, Africa is at risk of not attaining
the MDGs... [We are] convinced that high and sustained economic growth is a
necessary but not sufficient condition to reduce poverty”.
AU Extraordinary Summit on Employment and Poverty Alleviation, Burkina Faso,
September 20041

“Poverty reduction is linked directly to economic growth and to enabling
Africans to become agents of their own development”.
Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu, Chairperson, NEPAD Steering Committee2

“There is no poverty of effort in Africa, there is a poverty of opportunity.”
Juan Somavia, Director General, International Labour Organisation3
“We, the Heads of State and Government of the African Union... [are]
concerned that at the current growth rates, Africa is at risk of not attaining
the MDGs... [We are] convinced that high and sustained economic growth is a
necessary but not sufficient condition to reduce poverty”.
AU Extraordinary Summit on Employment and Poverty Alleviation,
Burkina Faso, September 20041
“Poverty reduction is linked directly to economic growth and to enabling
Africans to become agents of their own development”.
Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu, Chairperson, NEPAD Steering Committee2
“There is no poverty of effort in Africa, there is a poverty of opportunity.”
Juan Somavia, Director General, International Labour Organisation3

$30 million grant from IFC

On May 25, IFC went even further in supporting African private sector and
investment climate reform by approving its $30 million grant to the Investment Climate Facility for Africa. IFC will also contribute expertise to the facility, based on its experience investing in the private sector in developing countries

IFC -Investment Climate Facility 4 Africa

The Investment Climate Facility for Africa is a unique new public-private partnership that focuses exclusively on improving the continent's investment climate. It complements the work IFC already carries out in Africa and provides a mechanism through which the private sector, the G8 countries, donors, and African governments and institutions can support Africa's vision for sustainable growth and development. It draws on political support from throughout the continent.

The objectives of the Investment Climate Facility for Africa are:
  • To build the environment for investment climate reform Encourage, develop, and
    work with coalitions for investment climate reform.
  • To get the investment climate right Support governments in creating a legal, regulatory, and administrative environment that encourages businesses at all levels to invest,
    grow, and create jobs.
  • To enhance Africa's business climate imageImprove
  • Africa's image as an investment destination through a coordinated effort to publicize improvements in the investment climate.

The facility's priorities areas will be:

  1. Property rights
  2. Taxation and customs
  3. Infrastructure facilitation
  4. Competition
  5. Business registration and red tape
  6. Financial markets
  7. Labor markets
  8. Corruption and crime

About the Investment Climate Facility for Africa

The Investment Climate Facility for Africa is a public-private partnership established as an independent trust with a seven-year lifespan, headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. The co-chairmen are Benjamin Mkapa, former President of Tanzania, and Niall FitzGerald, Chairman of Reuters. The Board of Trustees includes prominent businessmen and political figures from Africa and beyond. It has been established in close cooperation with the African Development Bank and has been endorsed by the Report of the Commission for Africa (2005), the G8 at Gleneagles in July 2005, and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). Three multinational firms, Shell, Unilever, and Anglo American, have also contributed financial resources. Discussions are underway with other African and international firms to build on this endeavor.

IFC's Role and Strategy in Africa

IFC is the largest multilateral source of loan and equity financing for private sector projects in Africa. IFC's strategy for Africa is to address the development of the region comprehensively, not only through large projects but also by expanding the investment program to target smaller businesses, which constitute the backbone of the African economy.

For larger projects, IFC is increasingly involved in the formative stages of project development, thus expanding its role significantly beyond provision of finance. To improve the overall investment climate, IFC is also focusing its global knowledge and local expertise on reducing the investment constraints faced by the private sector in Africa. IFC's increased emphasis on technical assistance, deriving from the focus on smaller investments, led to the creation of IFC's multidonor Private Enterprise Partnership for Africa in 2005.