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The Africa Commission’s Five International Initiatives

1 Benchmarking African Competitiveness

The Africa Commission, in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the African Union, will ensure coverage of a significant and increasing number of African countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, and encourage policy impact through measures to engage business and government leaders in a results-based dialogue on the required reforms.

2 Access to investment finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

The Africa Commission will develop an African Guarantee Fund in partnership with the African Development Bank to foster the growth of financial resources available for the investment needs of small and medium-sized enterprises and for capacity development of financial institutions. Furthermore, the Commission will launch a complementary facility for enterprises to improve their business management and technical skills in order to gain access to investment finance.

3 Unleashing African Entrepreneurship

The Africa Commission will together with the International Labour Organisation develop packages of assistance to young existing and would-be entrepreneurs, complementing entrepreneurship training with advisory services, mentorship, and access to finance for both rural and urban entrepreneurs. In order to strengthen the sustainability of this initiative, all enterprise support services will be offered through existing local providers, like business associations, youth-led organisations, private consultancies and training providers, or public agencies.

4 Access to Sustainable Energy

Together with the African Development Bank the Africa Commission will address the African energy deficit. The initiative will stimulate and expand the emerging market for sustainable energy, primarily in rural areas, by strengthening the role of small and medium-sized enterprises in delivery and productive use of energy from local and renewable energy sources. It will build upon positive experiences with decentralised energy systems in Africa and contribute to the Africa-EU Energy Partnership.

5 Promoting Post-Primary Education and Research

The Africa Commission will launch an initiative along two tracks. The first track will promote innovative ways to expand technical and vocational skills development, focusing on out-of-school youth by upgrading existing apprenticeships and developing demand-driven technical and vocational training in under-served rural communities. The second track links university education, research and private sector development in sustainable agriculture and agro-business to increase the business skills of graduates and promote innovation with a special focus on value chains. This track will be implemented in partnership with the African Union Commission through its agreement with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa.

This page forms part of the publication 'Realising the Potential of Africa’s Youth' as chapter 25 of 25
Version 1.0. 09-06-2009
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