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Canada Investment Fund for Africa: Mid-term Review

The Canada Fund for Africa's largest investment is the $100-million Canada Investment Fund for Africa (CIFA). It helps fulfil Canada's response to the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government's 2001 New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) agreement and to the G-8's 2002 Africa Action Plan.

CIFA operates as a commercially viable and self-sustaining provider of risk capital for private investments in Africa under limited partnership management. Begun in June 2005 and slated to end in December 2013 (with provision to extend it to 2015), the fund aims to:

  1. increase private investment in Africa;
  2. encourage foreign direct investment into areas beneficial to African development; and
  3. further Canadian public and private investment interests in Africa.

At the close of the fund, it will be sold, and the proceeds will be returned to the Government of Canada.

This midterm evaluation confirms that the CIFA initiative was visionary and relevant. The key lesson to emerge, however, indicates a challenging marriage between the cultures and capacities for oversight of CIFA partners and development aims abroad. The successful harmonization of these various aims and expectations will require time and effort to build a dedicated unit within the Government of Canada with the necessary expertise and experience. Other lessons learned are included in the report.

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