Unilever is partnering with ICF, a public-private fund aimed at creating a more attractive business environment in Africa. It currently has funding of some $100 million with the major backing coming from the UK's DFID and the World Bank. Unilever has pledged $1 million over two years as a sign of its commitment to Africa and to helping African countries realise their economic potential. Currently, the company is looking to develop practical projects that will build Africa's capacity as a trading partner both with the outside world and within their own regions.
Harish Manwani, president of Unilever's Asia and Africa business, said: "I am confident that Unilever’s business experience throughout the developing world will contribute to making the ICF an effective results-driven organisation. We believe that employability is as important as employment. Business creates jobs, direct and indirect, and builds human capabilities. We want to work with the ICF to lift the constraints that currently exist for business in terms of bureaucracy, capacity, finance and good business planning. Our experience of working collaboratively with government, UN agencies, NGOs and local communities should also add value," said Harish Manwani, president of Unilever's Asia and Africa business.