The AECF is a US$ 207m challenge fund capitalized by multilateral and bilateral donors (the AECF donors) to stimulate private sector entrepreneurs in Africa to innovate and find profitable ways of improving access to markets and the way markets function for the poor, particularly in rural areas. The Fund awards grants and repayable grants to private sector companies to support innovative business ideas in agriculture, agribusiness, renewable energy, adaptation to climate change and access to information and financial services. Its purpose is to improve incomes of smallholder farmers and the rural poor. The AECF is supported by the governments of Australia, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, as well as the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The project portfolio size ( i.e. the amount approved for the projects to date) is $128.5 million. So far, 179 grantee businesses around Africa have been selected for funding through various competitions. At present, the largest window in terms of donor contributions is the REACT window which has received over 23% of the overall donor contribution. The matching funds contributed by the grantees are three times that of donor contributions. For more information click here.
$207 million(Dec 2012)
|Since AECF's inception there have been:|
|179 Applications approved to fund|
|318 Applications evaluated to business plan stage|
|703 Applications shortlisted|
|8,322 applications received in total|
In keeping with its goal of accelerating pro-poor growth in Africa through increasing employment, livelihood opportunities and incomes, the AECF supports grantee projects in 23 African countries. These projects are as a result of 16 competitions completed and more than 8,300 applications received over the 6 years of AECF existence. The projects have specific focus areas in agriculture, agribusiness, renewable energy, adaptation to climate change and access to information and financial services.