ICF Overview

The Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) works to improve the climate for investment in Africa by removing barriers to doing business.

A healthy investment climate is crucial for sustainable economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation across the continent.

ICF is based in Africa and is an unique and unprecedented partnership between governments, private companies and development partners, exclusively focused on providing tangible improvements to Africa's investment climate.

Making Africa an even better place to do business

ICF aims to work with receptive African governments to make the continent an even better place to do business, systematically focusing on areas where practical steps can be taken to remove identified constraints and problems.

We have three primary objectives, namely to:

Build the environment for investment climate improvement
by encouraging, developing and working with coalitions to drive through change, and by supporting dialogue between businesses and governments.
Get the investment climate right
by working in partnership with governments to create a legal, regulatory and administrative environment that enables businesses of all sizes and at all levels to grow, invest and create jobs.
Encourage business to respond
by improving Africa's image as an investment destination by publicising improvements in the investment climate.

We recognise that improving Africa’s investment climate is a huge undertaking and are concentrating our efforts on eight priority areas that we believe will have the maximum impact and are central to creating a healthy business environment, namely:

1. Property rights and contract enforcement
2. Business registration and licensing
3. Taxation and customs
4. Financial Markets
5. Infrastructure facilitation
6. Labour markets
7. Competition
8. Corruption & Crime

ICF Background

'African governments must unleash the strong entrepreneurial spirit of Africa's people. To promote this, donor governments and the private sector should coordinate their efforts behind the proposed Investment Climate Facility (ICF) of the African Union's NEPAD programme.' - Commission for Africa 2005 Report

Commission for Africa 2005

ICF was established on the back of increasing recognition that an improved African investment climate is fundamental for wider economic growth.

The Commission for Africa, in its 2005 report Our Common Interest, called for a renewed commitment to promoting growth and prosperity on the continent and called attention to a proposal being developed by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to establish an investment climate facility that would address barriers to investment in Africa. The Commission called upon donor governments and the private sector to support the seven-year initiative. The facility was subsequently endorsed by the G8 in a communiqué issued at a summit hosted by the British Prime Minister in Gleneagles, Scotland in July 2005.

Following the Gleneagles summit, a series of countries and corporations pledged to provide financial support to a new Investment Climate Facility for Africa. A Board of Trustees was established in January 2006, made up of African businesses and political leaders, as well as individuals with a strong commitment to Africa.

ICF was publicly launched at the World Economic Forum Africa Summit (Cape Town) in June 2006 and a CEO, Mr Omari Issa, was appointed in March 2007.

In April 2007, ICF signed an agreement with the Government of Tanzania to establish the ICF headquarters in Dar es Salaam, as well as to incorporate the ICF Trust in Tanzania. Operational activity immediately commenced and ICF’s first project, a partnership with the Rwandan Government, was announced in the same year.

Since its establishment in Tanzania, ICF has built a diverse project portfolio working with multiple African governments and a number of regional organisations.

In its 2010 report, Still Our Common Interest, the Commission for Africa highlighted the considerable progress made by African governments to improve the investment climate and called upon international businesses and donors to continue and increase their support for ICF.

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