IMF, World Bank & IFI Round-Up

US bank Citigroup has teamed up with private equity group CDC to invest at least USD 200 million in Africa. Citigroup will invest USD 100 million in its first African private equity fund. The UK government-owned CDC group, formally called the Commonwealth Development Corporation, will match this amount. The fund will provide opportunities for Africa’s infrastructure, telecoms, manufacturing and energy industries, the CDC said. “We believe that profitable investments in such areas are fundamental to creating wealth and alleviating poverty in growing economies,” said CDC chief executive Richard Laing. The investment brings CDC’s total funds dedicated to Africa to more than USD 830 million.

Three African first ladies, Azeb Mesfin of Ethiopia, Jeanette Kagame of Rwanda, and Maureen Mwanawasa of Zambia, have called for new and further-reaching approaches to combating HIV/AIDS on the continent. Their message, delivered at a panel discussion on Tuesday at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC, was presented on behalf of the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS, formed in 2002.

African Union ministers adopted a united front for global trade talks at a summit this week, calling on Western countries to scrap agricultural subsidies to allow African imports to compete. In a declaration that was unanimously adopted at a summit in Addis Ababa, the ministers called for “the rapid elimination” of all forms of export subsidies. “We urge the main commercial partners to demonstrate flexibility and to show the necessary political will to facilitate the full resumption of talks and to bring them out of the impasse,” the declaration said. The ministers had chosen a message of “firmness and unity,” an AU Commission official told AFP.

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