May 20, 2024
African and global institutional investors unite to pioneer historic infrastructure investment in Africa
– By Godswill Odiong

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Prominent African and Global institutional investors signed subscription agreements and letters of intent in preparation for the first close of the Africa50 (www.Africa50.com) Infrastructure Acceleration Fund (IAF or the “Fund”), set up to catalyze further investment flows to invest in the development of critical infrastructure across the continent.

This historic collaboration brings together a diverse group of influential stakeholders comprised of 18 African – including sovereign wealth funds, development finance institutions (DFIs), banks, pension funds, asset managers and retirement agencies and 1 international Institutional Investor, with other additional entities expected to join the first close.

The signing ceremony in Lomé, Togo, which took place during Africa50’s Infra for Africa Forum on the margins of its General Shareholders Meeting, is an unprecedented milestone for the continent. Indeed, mobilizing such a significant number of African institutional investors is a first for an infrastructure fund in Africa. It demonstrates the continent’s determination to be in the driving seat, while forging global partnerships to stimulate its economic growth.

Africa50’s Infrastructure Acceleration Fund represents a pivotal vehicle that aims to bridge the financing gap in Africa’s infrastructure landscape. The commitments from the institutional investors will unlock transformative infrastructure projects across various sectors, including energy, transportation, telecommunications, water, among others.

Speaking on this momentous occasion at the signing ceremony, the President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina said, “I strongly believe that for African institutional investors, this is the time to change the investment narrative on Africa. 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 USD$98 trillion of global assets under management.”

Aminu Umar-Sadiq, CEO and Managing Director, Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Fund remarked, “Aminu Umar-Sadiq, Managing Director and CEO, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority remarked, “NSIA’s priority focus on sustainable infrastructure aligns with the fund’s vision to positively contribute to economic growth and development of the continent, including investing profitably, responsibly, and sustainably. The NSIA has a clear mandate to bring development to Nigeria and by extension, the continent at large and our investment in the Africa50 Infrastructure Acceleration Fund is an opportunity to expand our development impact in Africa while generating attractive financial returns.”.

Dr. Sidi Ould Tah, CEO of Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), which is also investing in the fund said, “BADEA’s investments are meant to have meaningful impact in the economies of its partners countries across various sectors. Infrastructure has always been the main area of focus for BADEA. Africa is a region with tremendous potential and a key priority for us, we are therefore pleased to join a credible partner like Africa50 in this groundbreaking partnership, to scale-up infrastructure development on the continent”.

M. Serge Ekué, President of the West African Development Bank (BOAD), an investor in the Fund said: “BOAD is always keen on supporting initiatives that help drive prosperity for the continent and scale the impact of our investments. We believe this fund will support the right infrastructure. projects the continent needs to create opportunities for its youth and spur economic development”.

For his part, Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50 commented, “Securing commitments from such prominent African institutional investors marks the beginning of a new era of collaboration and investment in Africa’s infrastructure sector. This African-led initiative is a powerful testament to our collective vision of transforming Africa’s infrastructure landscape. Together, we will catalyze African financial resources to build the foundations for a brighter future, one that drives prosperity, job creation, and sustainable development for all Africans.”

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