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Project Strategy


ICF’s strategy for achieving its vision

ICF’s strategy for achieving its vision of an improved investment climate for Africa includes tackling a particular issue or problem on a pilot basis in a country where the conditions for successful improvement are optimal.

Once success has been achieved in that country, ICF will then work with other countries to introduce the proven process of reform and share key learnings. In such a way ICF hopes to deliver tangible and long-lasting reform on a step-by-step basis. Governments and policy makers are encouraged to engage with ICF to identify priorities for intervention and propose specific projects for ICF funding.

ICF’s activity is driven by three strategic themes:

Intra African Trade:

  • Improving Africa’s import and export environment
  • Improving and simplifying administration in Africa in order to facilitate cross-border trade

Facilitation of business development and expansion:

  • ICT and infrastructure development
  • Business registration and licensing
  • Property rights

Facilitation of financial and investment environment:

  • Development of capital markets
  • Increased access to finance for enterprises
  • Improved regulatory environment for second and third tier institutions
  • Digital infrastructure

ICF has identified the following set of guiding principles that inform and add focus to its operational activity:

  • Government ownership of project activity is essential for the successful development and implementation of any initiative. For this reason, ICF requires governments to make material contributions to any project, believing that co-sponsorship ensures long-term commitment to the improvement process.
  • ICF activity must benefit the business community as a whole, or broad sectors or parts of the business community (e.g. SMEs). ICF does not fund any projects that are to the benefit of one particular company or small group of companies.
  • The private sector must be engaged in the improvement process. ICF engages with businesses and investors to identify priorities for intervention and to help deliver meaningful change. All ICF projects are monitored by a Steering Committee with members from the private sector and relevant government stakeholders.
  • Any government applying for ICF support must subscribe to, or support, NEPAD’s African Peer Review Mechanism – an important indicator of a country’s commitment to improved governance.