Africa50, a new and innovative infrastructure investment platform promoted by the African Development Bank has raised US$830 million as share capital, contributed by 20 African countries.

During its Constitutive General Assembly on July 29 in Casablanca, Morocco, the Africa50 Chairman of the Boards of Directors Dr Donald Kaberuka noted that the enthusiasm with which the initiative was received is indicative of a Africa’s commitment to infrastructure development.

“The large presence of African States and their financial commitments are a testimony to a shared vision to find new ways to accelerate the provision of infrastructure. Africa50 will be a step change for infrastructure financing and development in Africa,” Dr Kaberuka said.

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The founding countries are Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana and Ivory Coast. Others are Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, The Gambia and Togo.

“While this first closing was available only to African countries, it is anticipated that the second and subsequent closings will be available not only to African countries that are yet to invest in Africa50, but also non-sovereign investors both in Africa and outside Africa,” a release by Africa Press Association, states. The second closing is expected before the end of 2015.

Africa50’s raison d’être is to mobilize long-term savings within and outside Africa for the financing of commercially viable infrastructure projects across Africa. Through an integrated approach, Africa50 will invest in African infrastructure projects at scale along the entire project finance value chain leveraging its innovative Project Finance and Project Development windows.

“The strong expression of commitment today by the African countries is a necessary first step towards attracting institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, insurance companies and other sources of long-term finance around the world,” the release indicates and adds that Africa50’s medium term capitalization is projected to reach USD 3 billion.

During the Constitutive General Meeting, Africa50’s founding members signed the articles of incorporation, which enshrine the highest standards of corporate governance. Africa50 is headquartered in Casablanca, Morocco. A headquarters agreement was signed with the Kingdom of Morocco that confers upon Africa50 a range of privileges and immunities similar to those enjoyed by the African Development Bank. Other decisions taken at the meeting included the appointments of the members of the Boards of Directors of the Project Finance and Project Development vehicles and also the appointment of KPMG as external auditors.

Mr. Mohamed Boussaid, the Minister of Finance for the Kingdom of Morocco stated that Africa50 is an idea whose time has come and that the Constitutive General Assembly is an important first step towards making it a reality.

The newly elected Boards of Directors met after the Constitutive General Assembly and launched the recruitment of the Chief Executive Officer of Africa50 through an international competitive selection process.

Meanwhile, the Board has appointed Mr. Alassane Ba as the acting Chief Executive Officer, as part of measures to immediately operationalize Africa50, which expects to start developing and financing projects before the end of 2015.

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