Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund commits $200m in loans to fragile States

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The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund(EAIF), suppliers of debt finance to private sector infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa, said on Tuesday that it had ended 2017 on a high note with $200-million in loan commitments to fragile states.

EAIF, a company of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) which is funded by donors from seven countries abroad and the World Bank Group, provides a variety of debt products to infrastructure projects promoted mainly by private sector businesses in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Fund said that the new transactions represented $200-million in loan commitments, bringing its committed loan portfolio to $750-million.

EAIF said that it had signed ten transactions and all its key performance indicators were achieved in 2017, rapidly approaching having 45 active projects in its portfolio.

The company’s core strategy is focused mainly on fragile states where traditional lenders to the private sector do not operate and where capital from the development finance sector was scarce.

Nazmeera Moola, head of EAIF at its management firm Investec Asset Management, said the company was able to demonstrate the tangible, measurable impact which can be achieved through its work in 2017.

“These achievements show that EAIF helped to accelerate economic development in countries and sectors which are new to us, while taking on new ventures in countries in which we have long-standing projects,” Moola said.

“We look forward to building on the success of the last 15 years as we move forward, reinforcing EAIF’s reputation as nimble, committed, innovative and knowledgeable.”

During 2017, EAIF added Madagascar and Mali to the list of countries it has projects in. In Madagascar, EAIF made its first loan in the airport infrastructure sector when it provided €25-million to Ravinala Airports to upgrade and expand two airports.

In Mali, EAIF supported the first two Independent PowerProducers (IPPs) in the country and the projects are earmarked to bring new jobs in construction and operation, and help stimulate the employment market as businesses see opportunities in Mali’s bigger and more reliable energysupply sector.

Overall, EAIF provided finance to independent powerproducers that will bring 90 MW of new solar power to Africaand financed 374 MW of power across solar, hydro and fossil fuel in 2017 alone.

EAIF also led the debt financing for the $60.8-million watertreatment facility for Kigali, Rwanda, to be owned, built and managed by Kigali Water Limited.

David White, EAIF chairperson, said that the Fund’s success in 2017 was the best possible way of celebrating its fifteenth year of supporting good businesses, stimulating economic development and helping African countries become more stable and prosperous.

“Most infrastructure has a life of at least 20 years, which is a generation. Children being born now will benefit for many years from projects EAIF has supported in 2017,” White said.

“All those involved with EAIF can have pride and satisfaction that the work they do contributes to the stability and economic progress of countries across Africa. A more peaceful and successful Africa also benefits the world.”

Other EAIF projects in 2017 included the refinancing of the Bugoye hydro electricity plant in Uganda, the expansion of the Tobene ll power station in Senegal, and another renewable energy project in Mozambique. Source: Engineering News

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