The Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative has launched a $100 million Annual Africa Fund for social development and renewal.
The fund is divided into two – $50 million to Nigeria and $50 million to the rest of the continent.
Chairman of BUA Cement, Abdulsamad Rabiu, said in a statement on Tuesday that ASR Africa was specifically extending its work to the education, health and social development sectors, starting with infrastructure and capacity development in these areas.
According to him, the focus of the initiative is equipping facilities, researchers, healthcare practitioners and community-level service providers, with the aim of providing sustainable solutions for generations to come.
Rabiu said the ASR’s first cohort for Nigeria will be N1 billion each in grants to six universities in the six geopolitical zones, towards the initiation and upgrading of infrastructure, where applicable.
The universities in the first phase include Ahmadu Bello University, University of Maiduguri, University of Nigeria, University of Benin, University of Ilorin, and University of Ibadan, according to the statement.
The chairman said the grants would be directed towards projects that would be delivered by the ASR Initiative for the project duration, adding that for accountability, annual reports would be presented, with activities overseen by a board of trustees.
“More importantly, I am counting on you as beneficiaries, end-users and therefore custodians of these projects to hold the Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative to account; contact, commend, recommend or complain to us on asrafrica.org
“Over the course of the year, I expect to also announce funding opportunities of $50m for the rest of Africa – we are currently in talks with our stakeholders and other partners and announcements will be duly made,” Rabiu said.
He promised to continue to support ongoing efforts by various governments to bridge the development divide across Africa.