During its General Shareholders Meeting (GSM) in Kigali yesterday, Africa50, the pan-African investment platform, announced that the Republic of Zimbabwe has joined as its 31st shareholder.
Speaking during the event, Africa50 CEO, Alain Ebobissé, thanked the government of Zimbabwe for its commitment to the institution, which marks a welcome expansion in southern Africa. “We are grateful for this strong vote of confidence and look forward to working closely with the government and the private sector to identify priority projects and deploy our project development and financing expertise”.
George Tongesayi Guvamatanga, Zimbabwe’s Permanent Secretary for Finance and Economic Development, signed the Share Subscription Agreement on behalf of the Government, committing Zimbabwe to acquiring shares in Africa50.
Earlier, during the opening ceremony, Alain Ebobissé stressed the need for modern infrastructure in Africa for economic development. “Africa50 will do its part by financing and developing projects, by leveraging the support of development finance institutions and the private sector, and by working with our shareholder governments to speed implementation.”
During the General Shareholders Meeting, the African Development Bank and Africa50 signed an agreement confirming the Bank’s commitment to Africa50 and increasing its capital contribution.
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank and Chairman of the Board of Africa50 said, “In recognition of the importance of the project development work of Africa50, the African Development Bank has decided to increase its shareholding. The environment for massive investment in infrastructure in Africa is propitious, attracting ever more investors. At our recent Africa Investment Forum, for example, we mobilized over $38 billion of investment commitments in less than 72 hours.”
In his keynote address, His Excellency Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente, stressed that infrastructure investments, “always require a lot of resources and need collaboration and partnership between governments, the private sector and other stakeholders. Therefore, we must keep looking for partners, particularly in the private sector, to make these investments successful. Africa50 has been a great example – stepping in to partner with the Government of Rwanda to develop Kigali Innovation City, one of our flagship projects to accelerate our innovation ecosystem.”
Following the General Shareholder Meeting, His Excellency President Paul Kagame granted an audience to President Akinwumi Adesina and to CEO Alain Ebobisse who was joined by representative of Africa50 senior leadership team and confirmed strong support from Rwanda to Africa50.
The opening ceremony gathered African finance ministers and high-level officials from shareholder countries and central banks, as well as business leaders from across the continent and beyond. Shareholders then convened for a closed-door session where they reviewed Africa50’s 2018 activities, approved its financial statements, and discussed its long-term strategy.
After almost three years of operation, Africa50 has become a key player in driving private and PPP infrastructure investments in Africa with commercial rates of return. This will help bridge the continent’s infrastructure financing gap estimated at $68-$108 billion a year. It has mobilised over $871 million in committed capital from its shareholders, comprising the African Development Bank, 28 countries, and 2 central banks.
Africa50 has made investments in or has pipeline or prospective investments in a majority of tis shareholder countries. These include Egypt (400-megawatt solar power plants), Nigeria (a 100-megawatt solar power plant), Cameroon (a 420-megawatt hydropower plant), Senegal (a 120-megawatt combined cycle thermal power plant), as well as participation in the Room2Run synthetic securitisation programme with partners such as Mariner and the AfDB.
With the addition of Zimbabwe, Africa50’s shareholding now includes: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo, and Tunisia. Additional shareholders are the AfDB, the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), and the Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM). Total committed capital has risen to over $871 million.