AfDB sets up $3bn infrastructure investment platform
Africa50 has been designed to accelerate infrastructure delivery in Africa.The African Development Bank (AfDB) has officially launched a new institution called Africa50, funded by 20 African countries for an initial amount of $830 million (€727 million).
It said Africa50 is an innovative infrastructure investment platform focused on high-impact national and regional projects in the energy, transport, ICT and water sectors. It has been designed to accelerate infrastructure delivery in Africa, thereby helping the continent to unlock its full growth potential.
The new organ is currently raising its capital base by enlisting new members, and is expected to reach $3 billion in a period of three years.
It aims to deliver the support and financial products required to boost project bankability, accelerate financial close, and increase infrastructure delivery.
The AfDB said what makes Africa50 different from other initiatives is its holistic nature. It will cover the entire project lifecycle and combine early stage development work with long-term debt funding. It will intervene through two business lines: Project Development and Project Finance.
Africa is today in need of $95 billion per annum and at present, only less than half of that amount is being mobilised, leaving a gap of $50 billion per annum according to the AfDB.
Fred Muhumuza, a research analyst with the Financial Sector Deepening programme, told the Independent that Africa50 will help countries "get more money for critical big projects from a wider range of funders and also get it more easily, as these are more commercial investors who require less bureaucracy. Also, it will give the much-needed Technical Assistance in the preparation of projects, which many countries do not have at the moment."