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Investment Climate Facility

The Investment Climate Facility (ICF) is a public-private initiative through which donors, international and domestic corporations as well as NGOs, collaborate with African governments and regional organizations, to improve the investment climate at the national, regional, and continental levels.

The Facility was incorporated in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in April 2008 and work with other players in the field of investment climate enhancement by proactively identifying opportunities to develop programs that address important constraints on business throughout the continent.

ICF focuses on building the environment for investment by encouraging, developing, and working with coalitions for investment climate reform and supporting business community-government dialogue.  Getting the investment climate right and supporting governments in creating a legal, regulatory and administrative environment that encourages businesses at all levels to invest, grow and create jobs will lead to improving Africa's image as an investment destination through coordinated efforts.

The Facility supports the design and implementation of programs in eight areas that have been agreed on as priority constraints on the enabling environment. These are property rights, taxation and customs, infrastructure facilitation, competition, business registration and red tape, financial markets, labor markets, corruption, and crime.

ICF supports legislative review and reforms; capacity building of key institutions such as land registry offices, company registries and commercial courts; promotion of public-private sector dialogue; implementation of recommendations of the NEPAD APRM (African Peer Review Mechanism) process; research as well as economic and sector work in the priority areas; and media work aimed at improving Africa's image as a place to do business.

The governing structure consists of two primary organs: the Board of Trustees (BOT) and its sub-committees; and the Management. A third organ supporting the Board and Management is the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

The ICF's business plan calls for processing approximately 12 new projects each year. The size of projects varies from less than US$500,000 to over US $1 million. The CEO approves small-size projects (not exceeding US$ 500,000) while larger operations require the approval of the BOT. The ICF target projects that fill specific gaps in the programs implemented by other development partners. It will generally seek larger projects to gain economies of scale.

The first phase of the ICF's operations is driven by three strategic themes:

  • Intra-African trade - improving Africa's import and export environment as well as improving and simplifying administration in order to facilitate cross-border trade.
  • Facilitating business development and expansion - focusing on constraints on information and communication technology and infrastructure development, business registration and licensing, and property rights.
  • Facilitating financial and investment environment - developing capital markets, increasing access to finance for enterprises, improving the regulatory environment for second and third tier institutions, and facilitating improved digital infrastructure.

At the request of the Facility, the Bank plays two key roles - premier regional partner and financial resources administrator.

The ICF's projected funding needs stand at US$ 550 million during its life-span (7 years) with an initial target funding level of US$ 120 million for the first three years of operation.

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