Côte d’Ivoire has become the newest member of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), the leading international finance institution for financing infrastructure projects in Africa.
This announcement comes at a time of stability and strong economic progress for Côte d’Ivoire, whose $1bn Eurobond was well received by investors earlier this year. The Ivorian government has expressed its determination to continue improving the country’s infrastructure in order to support its successful economic development.
AFC is committed to proactively financing and managing the development of key infrastructure projects which will have a positive impact on the lives of Africans all over the continent. To date the Corporation has invested over US$2.5 billion in projects across 24 African countries and in a wide range of sectors including power, telecommunications, transport and logistics, natural resources and heavy industries.
The construction of the Henri Konan Bedie Bridge, a landmark $365 million public private partnership, was one of the first large-scale infrastructure development projects to be undertaken by President Ouattara’s government following the cessation of civil war in 2011. AFC was the mandated lead arranger for the mezzanine tranche of the financing and provided loan facilities and equity investments amounting to $55 million. The bridge, which provides quick and easy access directly into the heart of Abidjan, has dramatically reduced transportation costs by easing congestion on existing routes, improving the country’s overall connectivity.
Earlier this year AFC signed a joint development agreement with Ivoire Hydro Energy SA (IHE), an Ivorian project company, for the development of the 44MW Singrobo hydroelectric power plant (Singrobo) in Côte d’Ivoire. The new plant will be a much needed addition to the country’s power grid and will accelerate regional integration by tackling West Africa’s energy deficit.
AFC has also provided financing to Societe Ivorienne de raffinage (SIR).
Mr. Andrew Alli, Chief Executive Officer of AFC, commented on the announcement: “This is a wonderful opportunity for AFC to expand its portfolio of projects in Côte d’Ivoire and therefore play its part in accelerating the country’s economic development.
“By signing the Corporation’s Instrument of Accession and Acceptance of membership, Côte d’Ivoire enables AFC to receive preferred creditor status within the country, the benefits of which would reduce our investment risk and allow us to provide more competitive financing solutions. We hope to continue working closely with both public and private organisations within Côte d’Ivoire, building on what we have already achieved to set the standard for future developments.”
The other member states of AFC include: Cape Verde; Chad; Ghana; Guinea-Bissau; Guinea; Liberia; Nigeria; Sierra-Leone, The Gambia and Gabon.
AFC, an investment grade multilateral finance institution, was established in 2007 with an equity capital base of US$1 billion, to be the catalyst for private sector infrastructure investment across Africa. With a current balance sheet size of approximately US$2.9 billion, AFC is the second highest investment grade rated multilateral financial institution in Africa with an A3/P2 (Stable outlook) rating from Moody’s Investors Service. In May 2015, AFC successfully concluded a debut US$750 million Eurobond issue which was 7 times oversubscribed and attracted investors from Asia, Europe and the USA.