A new fund for African development was launched Thursday at an American Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, in New York.
The fund was launched under the auspices of the Made in Africa Foundation (MIAF), which was co-founded by Nigerian entrepreneur Kola Aluko and international fashion designer of Ghanaian descent Ozwald Boateng.
American Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx joined the duo at the launch of what is being described as a historical partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB) at the NASDAQ in New York.
According to details of the launch made available to PANA by Henman Communications, the alliance will co-manage and market initiatives to attract new investment for Africa50 – Africa’s largest infrastructure development vehicle created to date.
The alliance between MIAF and AfDB aims at raising US$500 million for Africa50’s project development arm by the first half of 2014.
Tas Anvaripour, AfDB’s Head of Infrastructure Finance; African-American fund manager Quintin Primo III, Chairman of the fund’s financial partners, Capri Capital and MIAF Chief Executive Officer Chris Cleverly also attended the launch.
“I am proud to be surrounded today by the people who have shared a determination to create a programme that offers a sustainable future for Africa,” Mr. Aluko said.
“The ringing of the Nasdaq Bell symbolises that the moment has finally arrived as we launch the Africa 50 Fund supported by the Made in Africa Foundation. Our original vision for Made in Africa was to create something that could bring real change for the continent through sustainable, infrastructural developments with a truly African agenda. I believe this monumental relationship we have struck with the African Development bank has created the means for such a vision,” he added.
For his part, MIAF Co-Founder Boateng said: “Africa is a rich continent not a poor one – BUT its wealth is not yet utilised for the benefit of Africans. Africa is moving fast: 7 out of 10 of the world’s fastest economies are in Africa. But the tragedy of the African continent is we export our wealth.
”Intra-Africa trade, if you look at the sub-Saharan region, is a mere 7 per cent, so as Africans we do not trade amongst ourselves. If you compare the intra-European trade, it’s an excess of 70 per cent, intra-Asia trade is an excess of 55 per cent.”