An international investment grade multilateral finance institution – Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) will host what is being billed as the continent’s most critical summit on African infrastructure in Abuja, Nigeria in March next year.

AFC Live 2017, to be opened by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, is a global event that will bring together financiers, developers and policy
makers to discuss how to increase private sector investment and deal flows in the African infrastructure space.

The two-day event will also mark the Corporation’s remarkable first decade since its inception in 2007. It has invested over $4 billion on projects covering 26 African countries and it is setting regional benchmarks in its complementary service areas – project development, financial advisory and principal investing.
The theme for the two-day event is AFC Live 2017 – Connect. Engage. Innovate – The African Infrastructure Revolution’. (The first edition of AFC Live was held in 2014).

The often poor state of the existing infrastructure has been identified as the major bottleneck to Africa’s development. The pressure on these assets will continue to intensify in light of the explosive population growth and expanding urbanisation. Rapid and sustained infrastructure development is essential if the continent is to unlock its potential and embark on an era of prosperity.

While the challenge is enormous, the response has been robust, led by organisation such as the AFC. A growing number of expertly constructed private-public partnerships (PPP) has led to an upsurge of infrastructure projects across the continent and are helping to build tomorrow’s Africa. But much more still needs to be done.

“Our unique public and private shareholder base and our in-depth knowledge of the African market positions us well to address Africa’s pressing infrastructure investment and development needs” says Andrew Alli, President and CEO of AFC.  “But we need to find new models to fast track investments and reduce lead times from inception to completion”.

AFC Live will explore these ideas and concepts in depth, showcase recent success stories and provide networking and deal making facilities.
“Today,” says Alli, “investors can partner with a growing number of African institutions, and private sector companies, to take advantage of the African opportunity, as well as working with them to navigate the perceived African risk. The return on investment, as the AFC has proved, is considerable.

By getting the key players in this space under one roof, I am sure numerous ways to scale up investments and put together the right frameworks to encourage private sector investment in key sectors will emerge”.

The AFC last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Morocco’s Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) aimed at increasing pan-African collaboration in financing vital infrastructure projects in North and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The MoU signing comes on the back of the launch of the Africa Infrastructure Development Association, a private sector initiative to bring about successful financing and project development solutions for infrastructure projects across the continent.

AFC 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$3.2 billion, AFC is now 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 seven times oversubscribed and attracted investors from Asia, Europe and the USA.

By Ijeoma Nwachukwu