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Africa: International Assistance

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 12 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Africa Investment Climate Facility. (233796)

The Investment Climate Facility (ICF) is a novel partnership between private companies, development partners and Governments to improve the investment climate in African countries. An independent review of ICF will be conducted in 2009.

The Department for International Development (DFID) has closely followed the development of the organisation through the Technical Advisory Committee and Annual Meetings. DFID has also seconded a senior official to work in the ICF Secretariat. ICF has quickly become effective in building up its project portfolio. The Board has approved 20 projects but it is too early to assess effectiveness fully. Recently, the ICF published its first Project Completion Report. The project created a productive dialogue between businesses, the East African Community and customs authorities in East Africa. Many of the project’s recommendations for customs reforms have been implemented, leading to significant reductions in delays and costs to businesses in importing and exporting goods.