Independent Review of the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF)

The Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) was set up with a lifespan limited to seven years, at the end of which it was to be dissolved. In view of this period, which finishes at the end of 2014, the contributors through ICF contracted Maxwell Stamp PLC in October 2012 to undertake a second Independent Review addressing, inter alia, the necessity and meaningfulness of a potential prolongation of ICF beyond its original lifespan. The Review has focused on providing conclusions and recommendations that will first constitute a performance assessment of ICF since its creation, and second guide contributors as they decide on possible further funding and support post-2014.

ICF was launched in June 2006, its CEO appointed in March 2007 and it became operational soon after in Dar es Salaam with its first investment approved in May 2007. The “sponsors” of ICF were African Governments through the AU and NEPAD, and contributors at subsequent stages were from both the public and private sectors. ICF is structured as a trust and is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) structure that enables ICF to draw on the combined experience of these contributors. ICF was set up to focus exclusively on the removal of barriers to private investment in Africa. Its intended role included raising the profile of investment climate reform among African Governments, as well as the donor community. Its defining features included blending Official Development Assistance (ODA) and private funding. Active participation of the private sector in its operations was a strong expectation, as it was seen that donor governments and the private sector should coordinate their efforts to unleash entrepreneurship in Africa. In this sense, ICF was expected to be a unique new tool.