17 November 2005
Anglo American announces investment in Africa
Anglo American plc today announced a $2.5 million commitment to the creation of the NEPAD Investment Climate Facility (ICF) to promote growth and enhance the potential for business in Africa to contribute to poverty alleviation. The announcement was made at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister, Rt Hon Tony Blair MP, UK International Development Secretary, Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, and other representatives of business and government, at 10 Downing Street.
The parallel announcements by the British Government, Anglo American and Shell - amounting to $35 million - are the first commitments to the planned facility which has an initial target of raising $120 million over the next three years. The Facility will be a private sector-led, public-private partnership designed to enhance Africa's ability to meet the 7% annual economic growth target needed to meet the core Millennium Development Goals in the continent. It will aim to make Africa a more attractive environment in which to do business through: reducing barriers to investment, facilitating dialogue between the private sector and governments and acting as a source of advice to African Governments on the formulation of policies and regulatory frameworks which promote responsible enterprise. The ICF was proposed by the Commission for Africa and endorsed by the G8 at the Gleneagles Summit.
Announcing the commitment to the Investment Climate Facility, Anglo American's Chief Executive, Tony Trahar commented: 'During 2005 there has been a welcome focus on the challenges facing Africa and there is some real momentum behind increasing aid, debt relief and tackling conflict. Improving infrastructure and underpinning fundamental public services is of great importance. However, if there is to be sustainable development in Africa and an acceleration of economic growth as the basis for poverty alleviation, this cannot happen through public sector initiatives alone. The Investment Climate Facility aims to make Africa a better place to do business for companies of all sizes, from farmers to start up entrepreneurs on one hand to national and international companies on the other. It aims to encourage investment, jobs and enterprise through creating a business-friendly environment. As a major investor in Africa we know that it can be an excellent place to do business, but in too many places enterprise is stifled by bureaucracy and inefficient regulation. We regard our commitment to the ICF as an important contribution to improving the life chances of millions of Africans. We welcome the commitment made today by the British Government and Shell and call on other companies and donor governments to join us.'
Lazarus Zim, the Chief Executive of Anglo American South Africa was also present for the announcement and the previous discussion with the Prime Minister on the importance for Africa of a positive outcome from the Hong Kong WTO meeting.
Amongst the challenges which the ICF is expected to tackle are: streamlining regimes for business registration and licensing so as to make it easier for people to start enterprises and, as they grow, to maximise the chance of them operating in the mainstream, rather than the informal, economy; improving customs procedures and facilitating trade; removing barriers to competition; reducing red-tape and promoting a more positive image of Africa as a place to do business.
In June 2005, Anglo American received from UK's Business in the Community, the Oracle International Award for being the company making the biggest contribution towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in Africa.
Notes to Editors:
Anglo American plc is one of the world's largest mining and natural resource groups. With its subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates it is a global leader in platinum group metals, gold and diamonds, with significant interests in coal, base and ferrous metals, industrial minerals and paper and packaging. The Group is geographically diverse with operations in Africa, Europe, South and North America, Australia and Asia (www.angloamerican.co.uk).
In 2004 Anglo American undertook capital expenditure of almost $2 billion in Africa, employed 149,000 people and generated almost $5 billion in value added on the continent.
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