By Dike Onwuamaeze
A Nigerian industrialist and philanthropist, Mr. Abdul Samad Rabiu, has launched the Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR AFRICA) with $100 million annual funding for Africa’s social development and renewal.
The aim of the endowment is to unlock sustainable development opportunities in Africa, by Africans, for Africans that would cater for various interventions in education, health and social development.
According to a statement by the ASR Africa Initiative, $50 million would be dedicated to Nigeria yearly while $50 million would go to the rest of Africa.
Rabiu, who is the Founder and Chairman of the BUA Group, one of Africa’s largest foods, mining, infrastructure and manufacturing conglomerates, is also the sixth richest black person in the world, according to the latest Forbes rankings.
The BUA chairman 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 $100 million every year starting from this year, 2021.
“With the Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative and its annual $100 million 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.”
The ASR Africa Initiative also announced grants of N1billion each to six Nigerian universities across Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones.
These grants would go toward the initiation and upgrading of infrastructure, where applicable in the benefitting universities, namely the Ahmadu Bello University, the University of Maiduguri, the University of Nigeria, the University of Benin, the University of Ilorin and the University of Ibadan.
These grants, according to Rabiu, would be directed to projects that will be delivered by the ASR Africa Initiative for the project duration.
He noted that “as the world tries to claw its way back to business as usual, the Abdul Samad Rabiu Initiative’s Africa Fund for Social Development & Renewal aims to be a modest reminder to us all that until our health, education and other development issues are fixed, business as usual in these times, means business as brutal. We pledge to continue to do what we can to support ongoing efforts by various governments to bridge the development divide across Africa.”