Africa50 aims to address the critical shortcomings in regional infrastructure in order to create significant growth.
Africa50 is an investment platform established by African governments and the AfDB to secure financing for infrastructure projects with significant development impact.
Africa50 – USD 6.6 billion in investments to date
African Development Bank (AfDB) claims that Africa50 has invested over USD 6.6 billion in critical infrastructure in its six years of being in operation. According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the AfDB’s President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, made the claim in a statement released at the Africa50 Infra Forum and General Shareholders Meeting in Lome, Togo.
The African Infrastructure Acceleration Fund
NAN reported that the Togolese President, Faure Gnassingbé and prominent African and global institutional investors attended the event. While there, investors used the opportunity to sign subscription agreements and letters of intent to commit funds to the USD 500 million African Infrastructure Acceleration Fund.
According to Adesina, the Fund is the first private vehicle infrastructure platform inaugurated by Africa50. Adesina said that Africa50 was rapidly playing a strategic role in closing Africa’s infrastructure financing gap, from energy to transport and logistics to digital infrastructure, he said, “Africa50 is doing amazing work as an institution, developing projects to bankability and financing projects. At the heart of our work is to help close the USD 68 to 108 billion annual infrastructure financing gap for Africa.”
Adesina went on to say that the reallocation of International Monetary Fund Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) meant more funding to support all the regional development banks in Africa as well as Africa50 and that the resources would unlock additional resources to finance climate change mitigation and adaptation, infrastructure for agriculture, transport, digital, airports, water and sanitation, education, as well as health. Adesina said that the bank had invested more than USD 32 million to support inclusive growth in the sector, helping to reduce the importation of key food commodities like rice, maize, and soybeans.
Speaking at the Africa50 Infrastructure Acceleration Fund signing event, Adesina said the time to change the investment narrative on Africa was now, “It is remarkable and unprecedented to have 17 African institutions participating in such a transforming initiative to invest in an African infrastructure fund. With the Fund, we are positioning the Africa50 Group to play a lead role in helping to tap into the more than 98 trillion dollars of global assets under management. The African Development Bank is investing 20 million dollars in equity in the African Infrastructure Acceleration Fund,” he said.
Infrastructure development is critical
Togolese president, Faure Gnassingbé said there was a need for infrastructure across the continent, saying, “this is indeed a condition for development”. Gnassingbé went on to say that, “The public sector finances more than 90% of infrastructure investment, but public spending will not be enough, the involvement of the private sector is essential.”
Africa50 CEO Alain Ebobissé said his institution was ready to take on the challenge of creating the infrastructure needed to grow the African continent. Ebobissé explained that Africa50’s investments over six years covered 21 national and regional infrastructure projects in 22 countries. “We understand the expectations of the African population. This is why we must act with a real sense of urgency,” Ebobissé added.
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