TrustAfrica commits to lead $2.7 million fund for research on business and investment in Africa
African initiative builds knowledge to fuel enterprise and drive pro-poor growth
NEW YORK, September 23, 2010—TrustAfrica’s commitment to strengthening private enterprise and fostering pro-poor growth throughout Africa was featured on stage today at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting. Over the next three years, TrustAfrica will provide $2.7 million for pioneering research on ways to stimulate the development of small and medium-sized enterprises and ensure that prosperity is broadly shared.
“Africa has achieved remarkable economic growth over the last two decades, outpacing most other regions in the world,” said Dr. Akwasi Aidoo, TrustAfrica’s executive director. “But the benefits of greater investment and higher returns have not been reaching large segments of the population.”
TrustAfrica will implement today’s commitment through one of its flagship initiatives, the Investment Climate and Business Environment (ICBE) Research Fund, which supports African scholars who are generating knowledge about strategies for removing barriers to markets, expanding access to resources and improving livelihoods and living conditions among the poor.
“Africa’s future hinges on its ability to develop markets that benefit the whole of society,” Dr. Aidoo said.
The ICBE Research Fund recently completed its first phase, in which it provided nearly $1.5 million to support work by 54 research teams in nearly 20 African countries. With renewed support from the International Development Research Centre, the fund is now entering it second phase. Over the next three years, it will provide grants totaling $2.7 million for research on such pressing themes as employment creation, rural market development, credit availability and access, and improvement of social services.
The fund will also provide technical assistance to strengthen research capacity and foster dialogue among scholars, policy makers, business organizations and civil society leaders. After reviewing the research findings, TrustAfrica will prepare a set of case studies to highlight best practices for strengthening entrepreneurship and pro-poor growth in Africa.
TrustAfrica is an independent grant-making foundation that strives to secure the conditions for democratic governance and equitable development throughout the continent. Led by Africans, it catalyzes ideas, fosters dialogue, generates knowledge, mobilizes resources and conducts public advocacy to advance these goals.