The African Development Bank Group has established a US $3-million Rockefeller Trust Fund, a joint effort of the Bank and The Rockefeller Foundation to help spur Africa’s transformation.

With this initial endowment, the Trust Fund will support the Bank’s activities particularly with regard to two of its priority areas, also known as the “High 5s.” Under the Bank’s “Feed Africa” priority, it will support the Leadership for Agriculture (L4Ag) Platform, a network of Africa’s Finance and Agriculture Ministers created by The Rockefeller Foundation. Under the Bank’s “Improve the quality of life for the people in Africa” priority, the Rockefeller Trust Fund will support the Jobs for Youth in Africa (JfYA) Coding for Employment Programme. The Programme’s goal is to increase inclusive employment and entrepreneurship among Africa’s youth.

“We are very excited to be doing this with the Rockefeller Foundation. This is the start of something really important in a few different areas,” said Jennifer Blanke, the Bank’s Vice-President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development and one of the agreement’s signatories. “It is not about the money, though it is good to have the financing, but it is really about the partnership,” she added.

Subsequent contributions may also expected to support other High 5s, which include “Light up and power Africa”, “Industrialize Africa” and “Integrate Africa.”

The Rockefeller Foundation works to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world, and for more than a century has done this through strategic partnership with grantees and other likeminded organizations.

“For the Rockefeller Foundation, a partnership with African Development Bank is critical, as a major player and actor that has the mandate to lead on African transformation – not just agriculture, but also African economic and social transformation,” said Mamadou Biteye, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Managing Director for Africa. “We hope [our contribution] is going to be catalytic in bringing together resources – not just financial – that will allow the African Development Bank to deliver on its High 5s,” he said.

The Rockefeller Trust Fund will complement the Bank’s efforts to catalyze Africa’s transformation over the next decade by level8raging its own resources and significantly scale up development finance for the benefit of its Regional Member Countries.

The Rockefeller Trust Fund is the Bank’s second formal collaboration with a philanthropic organization, following the establishment of the Bill and Melinda Gates Trust Fund in March 2015. (o.ndong-obiang@afdb.org, aotieno@rockfound.org)

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