The AECF was launched at the World Economic Forum Africa in 2007 and become operational in 2008 to respond to the need for an Africa based fund that would support African business, particularly in the areas of finance and agriculture. It begun with a start-up capital from the United Kingdom and Dutch Governments, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The AECF launched the first competition in 2008 and since then it has grown to be one of the largest challenge funds in Africa. Over the past 9 years, the AECF has managed 8 funding windows, conducted 21 competitions, received over 10,000 applications and approved funding to 257 business projects
The AECF REACT Household Solar competition will support innovative business models that improve access to electricity through off grid stand - alone household solar systems and deliver positive social and economic impacts in the four target countries.
AAW supports business ideas that will make a positive impact in the fields of agribusiness, financial services and value chains in Africa.
The AECF TZAW supports agribusinesses with good innovative ideas for implementation in Tanzania that will have a positive development impact.
The AECF REACT Window supports private sector investment and innovation in low cost, clean energy and climate change technologies.
The RIB Window aims to stimulate the private sector to commercialize existing, readily available and near complete agricultural research and technology products for the benefit of the rural poor in Africa.
The AECF General Window supports business ideas in the fields of agribusiness, financial services and value chains which extend across sub-Saharan Africa and international markets.
AECF is launched in Cape Town alongside the World Economic Forum Africa Summit.