Post Conflict Window
In response to the start of the South Sudan Window, Sida funded the Post Conflict Window – a programme that sought to provide private sector solutions to countries emerging from longer term conflict. It provided $12.6m in grants to 19 companies in Somaliland, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the DRC, covering a wide range of value chains. Many of these investments have been highly successful, including cocoa in DRC, microfinance, resins and livestock in Somaliland and fruit juice in Sierra Leone.
Due to the lack of financing in these countries, AECF was able to select some of the best investment opportunities available, leading to the creation or maintenance of 1640 jobs and $125m in development impact. Key successes have included the establishment of private veterinary supply services which reduced the use of counterfeit drugs with significant impact on pastoralist farmers and the development of fattening facilities for exporting animal to the Middle East. Many of these investments have subsequently suffered from the debilitating multiannual drought in the Horn of Africa in the late 2010s.
Esco Kivu is a major commodities buyer in Uganda and DRC. AECF financed the construction of a cocoa processing facility just across the border into Eastern DRC which has enabled cocoa farmers returning from being displaced by fighting to sell locally.
This has been crucial as the main cocoa warehouses are located far away in Beni, on roads impassable in the wet season and frequently under attack by armed groups. Cocoa is an essential conflict resistance crop – it has little to no value unless processed and families can quickly generate income if they have been displaced. The new facilities were ready as cocoa prices peaked in 2016, leading to the generation of more than $40m in development impact over six years for an investment of $1m.