AfDB, foundation inaugurate infrastructure fund

The African Development Bank and Made in Africa Foundation have partnered to co-market initiatives that will catalyse funding for Africa’s largest infrastructure delivery vehicle called Africa50.

 According to a statement from AfDB on Monday, the fundraising for the Africa50 project was done at the NASDAQ Stock Exchange in New York City, the United States.

The statement said, “With the critical objective of reducing the timing required to develop infrastructure projects in Africa, Africa50 is the result of experience and innovation. Over the past five years, AfDB has delivered over $5.4bn in critical infrastructure investment in Africa through private sector and public-private partnership financing.”

On its part, MIAF was born when internationally renowned Ghanaian-born designer, Ozwald Boateng, and leading Nigerian entrepreneur, Kola Aluko, of Atlantic Energy realised that a few hundred million dollars of investment in project development could change the course of economic development for the whole of Africa.

The alliance between MIAF and AfDB aims to raise up to $500m for Africa50’s project development arm by the first half of 2014, according to the statement.

The effort was supported live by Boateng; Aluko; Sam Kutesa, the Uganda’s current Minister of Foreign Affairs and the next President of the United Nations General Assembly; Tas Anvaripour, Team Leader for Africa50; and Anne Kabagambe, Chief of Staff and Director of Cabinet at the President’s office of the AfDB.

The NASDAQ event was followed by a luncheon hosted by Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the publisher of The New York Times, where the AfDB Group President, Donald Kaberuka, delivered a video message on Africa50.

Discussion on Africa’s newest infrastructure delivery vehicle involved participation by African business leaders, American investors, Patrick Zhong of the Fosun Group in China and former UK Foreign Minister and International Rescue CEO David Miliband.

The statement said that the Africa50 would comprise two funding arms: project development and project financing.

At a recent meeting of African Central Banks in Mauritius, AfDB President Donald Kaberuka explained that “to increase the rate of infrastructure delivery in Africa we need to speed up project preparation and project development. The critical objective is to shorten the time between the idea and financial close from a current average of seven years to less than three years.”

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