Africa Finance Corporation membership hits 31, aims to bridge the continent’s infrastructure gap

AFRICA – Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), a pan-African multilateral development financial institution established in 2007, has announced that it has now reached 31 member states constituting more than half the continent.

In the first quarter of the year 2021, membership by Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Morocco added up the number to 31 member states.   

“This is a landmark achievement for AFC as we continue to expand our footprint across the continent,” said Samaila Zubairu, President and CEO of AFC.

“It is my pleasure to welcome the Republic of Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Kingdom of Morocco as member countries of AFC. With this expanded membership and our technical expertise, we are empowered to deliver critical infrastructure with a greater focus on energy, renewables, and digital infrastructure rebuilding a more resilient and sustainable economy post-COVID-19,” he continued.

In its bid to bridge Africa’s infrastructure gap, the AFC has up to date invested over US$8.7 billion in projects in 35 African countries utilising its unique access to global capital markets to drive development, integrate the continent’s economies, and transform lives.

Recent examples include a €130 million investment in the Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar, which provides air traffic management services; US$62.2 million funding for the 60MW Red Sea Wind Power project in Djibouti; and a US$150 million investment into the ARISE Special Economic Zone assets in Benin and Togo, with a strategic vision to build competitive industrial and logistics ecosystems.

The development finance institution typically invests in high-quality infrastructure assets that provide essential services in key infrastructure sectors – power, natural resources, heavy industry, transport, and telecommunications.

Despite significant progress being made in closing this gap, Africa still lags behind in many areas.

“With this expanded membership and our technical expertise, we are empowered to deliver critical infrastructure with a greater focus on energy, renewables, and digital infrastructure rebuilding a more resilient and sustainable economy post-COVID-19”

Samaila Zubari – President & CEO, Africa Finance Corporation

Commenting on Burkina Faso’s accession, the Minister of Economy, Finance and Development, Lassané Kaboré, stated: “As part of our commitment to reducing poverty in Burkina Faso and the transformation of the Burkinabe economy, we look forward to working with AFC, a renowned pan-African institution, to develop infrastructure projects in catalytic sectors such as transport, logistics, and mining for the sustainable development of the country.”

Speaking on Morocco’s membership, Minister of Economy, Finance and Administration Reform, Mohamed Benchaaboun, said: “The Kingdom of Morocco is pleased to accede to membership of AFC at such a critical time. We look forward to completing the legal ratification procedures as soon as possible, so that we can leverage on the many membership benefits of AFC, including its robust network, as we further our agenda to seek more strategic partnerships in sub-Saharan Africa”.

According to a recent publication by McKinsey and Company, most of Africa lags in the coverage of core infrastructure sectors.

Taking electricity, for instance, about 600 million Sub-Saharan Africans lack access to grid electricity accounting for more than two-thirds of the global population without power. McKinsey further forecasts that this unmet electricity demand will quadruple in years to come.

Membership and benefits

AFC membership is structured into two levels: membership only, and membership and shareholdings and out of the 31 member states, four countries including Ghana, Gabon, Guinea, and Nigeria (the host country) earn sovereign shareholding of AFC.

Member states benefit from increased investment allocation, and access to public sector advisory and project development facilities while on the other hand, sovereign shareholder member states, on top of the above-mentioned, benefit from competitive finance for projects.

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