Burkina Faso, DR Congo and Morocco join Africa Finance Corporation
In a milestone for its pan-Africa mission, Africa Finance Corporation, one of the region’s biggest investors in infrastructure development, has announced that it has exceeded 30 member states, representing more than half the continent.
Membership by Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo and Morocco, all in the first quarter of 2021, brings the total number of AFC member states to 31, an increase from 26 members a year ago.
“This is a landmark achievement for AFC as we continue to expand our footprint across the continent,” said Samaila Zubairu, President & 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.”
With a mission of bridging Africa’s infrastructure gap, AFC has invested over $8.7 billion in 35 countries across Africa, 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.
Member countries enjoy significant benefits including increased investment allocation, preferred access to AFC’s structuring and lending solutions for sovereign states, reduced debt costs for projects, and access to the Corporation’s Public Sector Advisory and Project Development facilities. These interventions aim to help member states address critical infrastructure gaps across AFC’s core sectors of power, transportation, natural resources, telecommunications, and heavy industry.
In return, member governments facilitate AFC’s investment process by granting privileges and diplomatic immunities commensurate with the Corporation’s multilateral status. This helps to reduce the cost of debt financing and improve bankability of projects, while allowing the Corporation to mobilize global funding for the continent’s economic development.
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”.
Transformational projects across Africa led by AFC include the US$887 million Kpone Independent Power Project (IPP), which has boosted Ghana’s energy generation by 10%; the US$365 million Henri Konan Bedie Bridge in Cote D’Ivoire, which provides quick and easy access to the centre of Abidjan; and the US$160 million Bakwena Toll Road in South Africa, which has led to significant reductions in the time and cost of travel to and from Pretoria.
Alongside the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, AFC is one of the three institutions behind the new Nigeria Infrastructure Corporation (InfraCo), established to catalyse and accelerate investment across sectors including transport & logistics, power, telecoms & technology, mining & beneficiation, and agriculture.