Photo courtesy of the Rockefeller Archive Center.
West Africa Program
In 1959, the Fund launched its West Africa program to provide technical assistance to Ghana and Nigeria for economic development. The Fund engaged outside experts to evaluate proposals, submitted by groups within the two countries, for improving living standards. The feasibility studies helped assess the soundness of the funding proposals, and also built a research base that could inform future development activities. Proposed projects included dams and reservoirs to solve water supply problems, modern poultry farms to increase the protein supply, demonstration projects in housing construction methods, and industrial plants to manufacture refrigerators, glass, tableware, brick, and tile. While the Fund’s commitment in 1959-60 extended only through the feasibility report stage, the West Africa program gradually expanded to include other countries, direct project support, training programs, and other grantmaking.
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