Address by President Nelson Mandela at the launch of the Commonwealth Africa Investment Fund Limited

11 July 1996

Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku;
Your Excellencies;
Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is a very great pleasure to return to Marlborough House and be among my Commonwealth friends. I am doubly pleased that my visit coincides with the launching of the Commonwealth Africa Investment Fund - and the birth of a new acronym, COMAFIN.

The Commonwealth has a proven track record as an instrument for promoting development cooperation among its diverse membership. That is demonstrated once again by the manner in which COMAFIN has been created.

From my discussions with the Secretary-General I have no doubt that the Commonwealth Private Investment initiative, under which the Fund is being established, will prove an effective instrument for assisting in the socioeconomic development of the Commonwealth's developing members, including South Africa.

The significance of this initiative should not be missed. It is an innovative response to an urgent need. by setting up a fund to facilitate private sector investment it moves beyond what has until now been the dominant framework of aid and technical assistance. The new dimension is more than a matter of passing importance precisely because it addresses the question of sustainable development among partners each exploiting its comparative advantage to maximum effect.

South Africa has premised the reconstruction and development of our own country amongst other things on the potential of the private sector to contribute to development.

We have been attending to the creation of the necessary institutional and regulatory instruments for this to occur. Municipal infrastructure and the Maputo Development Corridor - the first of several such large projects - are amongst the areas being targeted for such involvement in co-operation with our neighbours. Like other developing countries, we feel justified in expecting reciprocal action from those in command of investment resources.

We strongly welcome the launch of COMAFIN as an essential step to drawing the private sector more effectively into development. It once more underlines the Commonwealth's potential as a leading force in the birth of a new world order.

Mr Secretary General;

I wish to assure you on behalf of South Africa, that we are keen to co-operate with COMAFIN. And I join you in calling on all countries to join hands and enter the new millennium working together for peace and prosperity!

I thank you.

Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation