AfDB establishes $100bn Africa50 Fund for infrastructure financing

Donald KABERUKA06 June 2014, Tunis – African Development Bank, AfDB, has instituted a 100 billion dollars infrastructure fund to fast track the continent’s industrial development.

Dr Ousmane Dore, Nigeria Country Director of AfDB, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said that the fund, called “Africa50 Fund”, would be derived from Africa’s resources.

Dore said the idea of the fund was to mobilise domestic savings that already existed in the continent through equity participation from member states and the private sector.

He said the initiative also aimed at delivering infrastructure through a new global partnership platform championing projects to tackle Africa’s infrastructure deficit.

According to Dore, the thinking about how Africa’s development will be financed over the next 50 years in the era of shrinking external donor support led to the establishment of Africa50 Fund.

The fund, which aims to mobilise up to 100 billion dollars in the first instance, is expected to be a game changer in Africa’s quest for development by relaxing the infrastructure constraints facing the continent.

The fund, we believe, remains an answer to all the questions that Africa’s policy makers have always faced when they think of going to international market to raise resources to build roads to finance power sector and all that, he said.

Dore said that Africa had the resource that could be harnessed to provide finance for the continent’s infrastructure, adding that Africa50 fund would be the vehicle to deliver on such activities.

He said that apart from the initial 100 billion dollars, African countries that had the resources would contribute to the fund.

He said Nigeria provided leadership for the fund in terms of getting to subscribe, while the bulk of the resource would come from all the institutional agencies like pension fund and sovereign wealth fund.

We do know that Nigeria has a pension fund system that has asset amounting to over 20 billion dollars which she can invest in this fund with some high rate of returns.

Also, the sovereign wealth fund, which is being set up by many oil and natural resources producing countries, can be tapped in to really compliment this Africa50 fund.

The country director said that most African countries had signified interest to invest in the fund during the bank’s just concluded annual general meeting held in Kigali, Rwanda.

What we are planning to do in the coming weeks is to do some road shows in some countries we belief to have large pool of savings.

We are targeting countries like Nigeria, Angola and Ethiopia as well as Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Cameroon that have built some kind of saving either through their oil and gas resources,he said.

Dore also said that AfDB was an African institution that understood better the socio-economic challenges of Africa than any other global development institution by undertaking projects that were beneficial to African people.

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