ICF – The end of the journey
December 01, 2016
For the past nine years, ICF had one goal – to work with African governments and the private sector to improve the investment climate in Africa. Now, nine years later, we have successfully completed this mandate and will therefore close at the end of December 2016.
Since our establishment in 2007, ICF’s sole mandate was to boost Africa’s economic growth by removing barriers to doing business in the continent.
We had three overarching objectives driving this mandate:
- Build effective coalitions with businesses and governments in order to identify and implement priority projects that drive Africa’s investment climate
- Work with governments to create a conducive legal, regulatory and administrative environment for businesses at all levels to invest, grow and create jobs
- Improve Africa’s image as an investment destination by effectively telling the story of rapid improvements in the investment climate
In collaboration with key stakeholders, ICF identified eight priority areas that could bring immediate and medium term improvement to Africa’s investment climate. We worked with our partners in these areas to achieve results in a short period of time, and with little resources. Our work in these eight priority areas was as follows:
- Improving access to commercial justice by modernising judicial systems, establishing commercial courts and creating alternative methods for dispute resolution;
- Establishing simple, transparent, efficient and cost effective ways for businesses to formalise their enterprises through faster registration and licensing;
- Modernizing cargo clearance systems at ports to significantly reduce dwell times and increase overall port capacity;
- Creating online systems for paying taxes to make it easier for businesses to meet their tax obligations;
- Assisted governments in creating the space for private sector participation in the provision of public infrastructure in order to bridge infrastructure deficits;
- Modernised land administration systems to enable individuals and commercial property owners to register their land and secure their property rights in simple and transparent ways;
- Strengthened the capacities of African financial markets to deepen access to financial services and provide alternate forms of financing to the private sector, especially smaller enterprises; and
- Built the capacities of small and medium enterprises to enable them to participate more effectively in the available markets and take advantage of other economic opportunities.
ICF has had a tremendous impact on the development of African economies. With quick initiatives, clear targets and tangible results, we have made it easier to do business in Africa. We have worked with 21 countries and three regional blocks, creating an impact for a total of 36 countries on the African continent.
Throughout our journey we have delivered over 70 projects and witnessed an extraordinary shift in the investment climate across Africa. We are honoured to have been part of this shift through the reforms we have implemented, and are happy that we could have played a critical role in facilitating the improvement of the investment climate in Africa.