For several weeks now, the clatter of Russian guns in Ukraine has brought up a very bad memory for Europe. That of war. European countries were ... prepared for it. Since 2014, when Crimea was annexed by Russia, Europe has once again become one of the hotspots of the global arms trade. In Africa, the acquisition of military equipment has clearly diminished – by 13% from 2015 to 2020. However, faced with numerous security threats – terrorism, transnational crime, piracy – the continent remains particularly affected.
Doha’s proposed investment fund, which has an initial capital base of $2bn, will be used to finance infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa.
On a visit to Kigali in December 2019, Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani approached Donald Kaberuka, former president of the African Development Bank and current managing partner of the Southbridge investment bank, to ask for advice on how to structure this fund.
Abidjan as headquarters?
According to our information, Côte d’Ivoire’s President Alassane Ouattara has been asked if he would like to lead this structure, once he has retired from politics. He received this offer before his preferred successor, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, died in 2020.
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This Qatari fund is expected to be operational by 2022-2023. Qatar is currently investing in sub-Saharan Africa via Morocco. Once the fund is fully established, Doha will be able to directly finance projects south of the Sahara.
According to our sources, Abidjan has been proposed as a possible location for the fund’s future headquarters.
Qatar has already invested in the country’s legal and business sectors. At Côte d’Ivoire’s request, Doha has financed a finance-focused court that is responsible for fighting against corruption.
READ MORE Qatar's quest for African influence
In addition, Sansan Kambilé, Côte d’Ivoire’s justice minister, and his colleague Ally Coulibaly, the former foreign affairs minister, have visited Doha to establish a training regime of Ivorian judges.
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