Banque Centrale des Etats de L’Afrique (BCEAO), the central bank for eight West African countries, and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), a development finance institution affiliated with the Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank, recently agreed to provide USD 30 million to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU).
The Islamic Development Bank (ISD), a multilateral development financing institution founded in 1975 out of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia announced the implementation of a five year plan to eliminate poverty, reduce illiteracy and fight contagious diseases throughout the Muslim world. The Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development, a USD 10 billion fund will fuel the development of two programs; the Vocational Literacy Program for Poverty Alleviation (VOLIP) and the Microfinance Support Program (MFSP). Both programs will target pockets of poverty throughout the 56 member nations of the ISD which include developing nations in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. The primary use of funds, however, will target the poorest ISD states, 80 percent of which are located in Sub-Sahara Africa.