The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) website goes live today.
The AECF is a US$50-100m private sector fund, backed by some of the biggest names in development finance and hosted by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Its aim is to encourage private sector companies to compete for like-for-like investment support for their new and innovative business ideas.
Where will the AECF work?
The AECF is open to proposals from all countries in Africa. However it will focus initially on 13 countries (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia) operating from three regional hubs (Nairobi, Accra and Johannesburg). Multi-country and regional projects are also eligible.
Who funds The AECF?
The African Development Bank (ADB), the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA) are the initial funders of the AECF. Others may join in due course.
Early Bird Window
The AECF is offering a once-off, special, fast-track “Early Bird” window for companies to apply for support.
You simply have to complete the application form and submit to them on or before 30th June, 2008.
They would welcome your application before 30th June so that they can, if necessary, discuss your applications with you before the closing date of 30th June.
On or before 15th July they will have selected the best 12 proposals and will get back to these “winners” asking them to prepare full business plans for their business ideas.
These business plans will have to submitted by 5th August, 2008. They will evaluate these plans and their investment committee, at its first meeting on 22 August, will decide on which 6 business ideas to support. They expect to finalise contracts for these 6 projects by early September.
If your business idea does not win funding support in this Early Bird Window, it will automatically be entered into the first round of normal AECF activity for which the closing date is 5th August.