September 15, 2005

$200 million pledged to Clinton’s initiative

By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton
received pledges of more than $200 million for economic
development in Africa and to fight HIV/AIDS on Thursday at a
private summit on some of the world's most pressing woes.

Bringing together world leaders, business figures,
academics and political activists, the Clinton Global
Initiative aims to address four key worries -- poverty,
religious strife, climate change and corruption.

The inaugural three-day meeting was timed to coincide with
the U.N. General Assembly and includes some 40 heads of state
among more than 700 expected participants.

It requires attendees to make a written promise to take a
specific action in the coming year.

"I don't claim for a second that the Clinton Global
Initiative will solve all of these extraordinarily tough
questions," Clinton said.

"But getting all of these people in one place to focus on
these critical problems with a commitment to what each of us
can really do to change them is an important first step."

The first commitments announced were a pair of $100 million
investments in African development by the Hunter Foundation and
by Mohamed Ibrahim, former head of mobile communications
company Cel-Tel Africa.

The Hunter Foundation, through founder Sir Tom Hunter, a
Scottish retail entrepreneur, promised its investment over 10
years toward creating a model for sustainable development in an
African country in collaboration with the Clinton Foundation.

Ibrahim, a Nubian from Sudan, established the African
Enterprise Private Investment Fund, for small and medium
businesses, with an initial contribution of $100 million.

The World Vision group and the Global Business Coalition
also announced they would join to create Impact! HIV/AIDS, to
raise money from corporations for the protection of women and
care for children orphaned by the disease.