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Rockefeller Foundation comes on board to finance a dedicated trust fund for the African Development Bank

Rockefeller Foundation comes on board to finance a dedicated trust fund for the African Development Bank

The funding momentum originating from the formal collaboration between the African Development Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has provided the impetus for a second similar arrangement with another major international social support organisation.

This week the bank announced the establishment of the US$3 million Rockefeller Trust Fund in conjunction with the Rockefeller Foundation. The deal is based on a similar structure as the Bill and Melinda Gates Trust Fund, also administered by the bank.

The founding endowment for the Rockefeller Trust Fund is to support the bank’s activities in two of its five targeted development spheres. Known as the High 5s, these are strategically viewed by the bank as its priority areas for continent-wide development funding.

For more than 100 years, the Rockefeller Foundation’s mission has been to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world.

Under the Bank’s “Feed Africa” priority, the trust fund will support the Leadership for Agriculture (L4Ag) Platform, a network of Africa’s Finance and Agriculture ministers created by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Under the Bank’s “Improve the quality of life for the people in Africa” priority, the Rockefeller Trust Fund will support the Jobs for Youth in Africa (JfYA) Coding for Employment Programme. The Programme’s goal is to increase inclusive employment and entrepreneurship among Africa’s youth.

“We are very excited to be doing this with the Rockefeller Foundation. This is the start of something really important in a few different areas,” said Jennifer Blanke, the bank’s Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development and one of the agreement signatories. “It is not about the money, though it is good to have the financing, but it is really about the partnership,” she said.

Further contributions are envisaged to support the other High 5s, “Light up and power Africa”, “Industrialize Africa” and “Integrate Africa.”

“For the Rockefeller Foundation, a partnership with the African Development Bank is critical, as a major player and actor that has the mandate to lead African transformation, not just agriculture but also African economic and social transformation,” said Mamadou Biteye, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Managing Director for Africa. “We hope [our contribution] is going to be catalytic in bringing together resources – not just financial – that will allow the African Development Bank to deliver on its High 5s,” he said.

The bank stated that the Rockefeller Trust Fund will complement its efforts to catalyse Africa’s transformation over the next decade by leveraging its own resources and significantly scale up development finance for the benefit of its regional member countries.



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SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.