This fresh capital injection demonstrates how governments, pension funds and insurers are stepping up investment in Africa
LAGOS, Nigeria: Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) (www.AfricaFC.org), the continent’s leading infrastructure solutions provider, announces a boost to its share capital following a combined US$38 million equity injection from the government of Côte d’Ivoire, through the Ministry of Economy and Finance; the government of Mauritius, via the National Pension Fund (NPF) and National Savings Fund (NSF); and the Africa Reinsurance Corporation (AfricaRe).
This fresh capital injection demonstrates how governments, pension funds and insurers are stepping up investment in Africa, opening a multi-billion dollar pool of treasury, retirement and insurance assets to help address the continent’s infrastructure and industrial development needs.
Côte d’Ivoire has benefited from over €700 million of investment from AFC in transformative projects, including the Henri Konan Bédié Bridge, a six-lane, 1.5 km toll bridge, and 6.6 km of access roads, which have improved traffic flow in Abidjan. The Corporation is also a financing partner to Société Ivoirienne de Raffinage (SIR), the largest and most sophisticated operational refinery in West Africa, acting as the sole mandated lead arranger of a €577 million debt financing facility as part of SIR’s successful long-term restructuring plan.
Further funding from AFC is going into construction of the 44-MW Singrobo hydroelectric power plant, a project to increase Côte d’Ivoire’s overall power capacity, reduce generation costs and advance the renewable energy mix. AFC is also a lead investor in Côte d’Ivoire’s Integrated Industrial Platform (IIP), an industrial platform focused on agro-processing, notably cocoa, cotton and cashew, partnering with Arise IIP (an investee company of AFC) and the Ivoirian government.
“The significant level of investment in our country is proof that AFC lives up to its reputation as one of the leading infrastructure solution providers on the continent,” said Hon. Adama Coulibaly, Minister of Economy and Finance.
“Becoming a shareholder is one of many steps to reinforce and solidify the relationship between the government of Côte d’Ivoire and the AFC. We are pleased to invest in AFC as the Corporation has proven its mandate as an African organization with a passion for infrastructure development – evidenced by the level of its investment in our country. We are happy to be associated with this pan-African success story.”
The equity investment from the Mauritian National Pension and National Savings Funds supports AFC’s drive to attract capital from institutional investors, particularly pensions, national social security funds and sovereign wealth funds, that will play a major role in bridging the continent’s infrastructure financing deficit.
The investment builds on AFC’s existing ties with Mauritius, where its subsidiaries, AFC Equity Investment Limited and AFC Capital Partners, are domiciled. As of 2021, AFC Equity Investment Limited held more than US$900 million of the Corporation’s equity investments, while AFC Capital Partners is the Corporation’s asset management company, focused on infrastructure and climate resilient investments with an initial US$500 million target fund size.
“As a pension fund that seeks to diversify away from traditional investments and seeks partnerships for long-term investment in infrastructure as an asset class, AFC presents the right platform to be able to achieve this. We are happy to join the Corporation’s shareholder base,” the management of the Mauritius funds said in a statement.
AfricaRe, which became the first multilateral financial institution to invest in AFC, has upsized its initial investment made in 2018. AfricaRe, the largest pan-African reinsurance institution, was established by 36 African states in 1976 to develop the insurance and reinsurance industry through increased underwriting and retention capacity.
AfricaRe Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Corneille Karkezi said: “With its track record, and consistent return on our initial investment, upsizing is the next logical step for us at AfricaRe.”
“This boost to our share capital enhances AFC’s mandate to provide African solutions to African challenges, funded by African capital,” said Samaila Zubairu, President and CEO of AFC. “Our goal is to put African assets to work in closing the infrastructure gap the continent faces. The equity investments endorse the Corporation’s role as one of the most significant development partners, driving transformative impact across the continent while delivering competitive returns.”