Africa’s quest for sustainable growth and development has received a big boost with the setting up of a USD100 million fund by billionaire businessman, Abdul Samad Rabiu.
To be known as the Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative, the programme will focus yearly on four key areas critical to human development index (HDI) – Education, Health and Social Development sectors. The investment will be in infrastructure and capacity development.
In a statement, Rabiu, who turned 60 last year, said the annual grant will be split in two halves with his native Nigeria benefitting $50m and the rest of Africa sharing $50million.
For starters, six Nigerian universities will each receive N1billion in the first phase. The institutions, drawn from the nation’s six geopolitical zones, include Ahmadu Bello University, University of Maiduguri, University of Nigeria, University of Benin, University of Ilorin, and University of Ibadan.
In the release personally signed by him, a somewhat emotional Rabiu said: “It is with the blessings of the Almighty, my family, colleagues, the support of my community and the backing of my conscience, that I announce the launch of the Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative, with an Africa Fund endowment of USD 100 million every year starting from this year, 2021; USD $50 million to Nigeria and USD $50 million to the rest of our beloved continent.
“Over the years as a corporate, and through the BUA Foundation, we have been actively involved in corporate philanthropy in various sectors – from health, education, community development, water and sanitation, sports, and even more recently, our work on COVID-19.
“However, with the Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative and its annual USD$100million Africa Fund for Social Development, we are specifically extending this work to the Education, Health and Social Development sectors, starting with infrastructure and capacity development in these areas and supporting the efforts of various governments in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Our broad focus is equipping facilities, our researchers, healthcare practitioners and community-level service providers, with the aim of providing sustainable solutions for generations to come.