By Ogova Ondego
Published August 2, 2015
An initiative to accelerate infrastructure-development in Africa has been established in the Moroccan city of Casablanca.
Known as Africa50 and headed by Dr Donald Kaberuka, the outgoing President of African Development Bank (ADB), the new infrastructure investment platform promoted by ADB is charged with mobilising long-term savings for the financing of commercially-viable infrastructure projects across Africa.
So far 20 of the 54 African countries are reported to “have subscribed for an initial aggregate amount of USD 830 million in share capital.”
The Africa50 founding countries are Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, The Gambia and Togo.
“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,” Africa50 says in a media statement it issued through African Press Organization (APO) after its constitutive meeting on July 29, 2015. “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. Africa50’s medium term capitalization is projected to reach USD 3 billion.”
Africa50 says it is not only adopting what it calls “a strong public private sector approach” but that it is also “founded on the highest corporate governance, ethical, financial, environmental and social responsibility frameworks.”