World Sports Alliance, CAR to Create $1 Billion Mining Fund

The World Sports Alliance, an intergovernmental body supporting the United Nations’ poverty reduction goals, plans to create a $1 billion fund to mine diamond and gold deposits in the Central African Republic.

The WSA-CAR Mining Development Fund will help cultivate mineral resources worth as much as $100 billion, the Toulouse, France-based World Sports Alliance said today in an e-mailed statement. The agreement was signed by Central African Republican President Francois Bozize, who has been battling an insurgency by rebels since Dec. 10.

The so-called Seleka militia, who say Bozize has failed to honor the terms of a 2008 peace deal, may hold peace talks with the government in nearby Gabon, a spokesman for the Gabon’s foreign affairs ministry said today.

Central African Republic is one of the world’s poorest nations with an annual gross domestic product of $3.6 billion. Its main industries include the production of cotton, coffee and tobacco and the export of gold, diamonds and timber, according to the CIA World Factbook.

The 30-nation World Sports Alliance, created in 2003 to promote physical education and anti-poverty programs, is funded by its investments in profitable public-private ventures such as the mining project, according to the statement.

The alliance, via its Curtis Whitney Holdings commercial arm, also plans to invest $200 million building a waste processing plant with a capacity to generate 22.5 megawatts of electricity. This will enable the development of $60 million worth of “sports, community infrastructure and youth programs,” the group said in a statement.

In 2000, the UN established its Millennium Development Goals, a 15-year plan to reduce poverty and child mortality and boost access to health care in developing nations.

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