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Africa Finance Corporation

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Africa Finance Corporation - Developing a Continent Through Carefully Managed Projects and Initiatives

Africa, as a continent with a powerful demographic and abundant natural resources, is poised to create an incredible impact in the 21st century. However, the continent also faces a significant energy deficit and is in need of education and opportunities that keep residents and locals from leaving. Established in 2007, Africa Finance Corporation is working to provide solutions to such challenges and enable a positive future for Africa as a whole.

AFC’s purpose is to close the infrastructure gap, unleash the continent’s potential and build a reliable bridge to a prosperous African future. President and CEO, Samaila Zubairu believes it is a responsibility that must be addressed. “We are really at the bottom. We have significant hunger and poverty in spite of the significant resources we have. But I want us to take ownership of our development, and I don't want us to look to other people to develop our continent.” Typically, African governments invest in infrastructure – which is a necessity for industrialisation and to connect – but the COVID-19 pandemic has diminished their investment ability. AFC was established as a multilateral financial institution. Zubairu explains the company’s focus, “Providing solutions to Africa's infrastructure deficit and challenging operating environment by developing and financing infrastructure, natural resources and industrial assets that will enhance productivity and economic growth of African states.”

Such solutions have need of careful planning, with financial institutions requiring prepared and bankable projects before they can occur. Zubairu recounts how the city of Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire waited for a bridge for over eight years before AFC stepped in and worked with the government to de-risk the opportunity, and enable the bridge to be built.

By implementing prudent ratios and safeguards, AFC has been able to attain an investment grade rating and is now one of the highest rated institutions in Africa, allowing the organisation access to international capital markets. This, in conjunction with the company business model, allows AFC to contribute to Africa’s development by raising capital from diverse sources and to invest that capital into projects around the region.

Another important issue is that of the energy deficit and overall climate concerns. Zubairu explains, “We need energy on the continent to be able to process all the African resources. One of the things that we've done recently is to publish a white paper on climate, “Roadmap to Africa’s COP: A pragmatic path to net zero” because we think climate is very, very important. It's one of the most significant challenges facing mankind today.” However, despite this, Zubairu believes that Africa has a unique role to play. “We believe that Africa's path to net zero is unique and different from other parts of the globe, especially because our emissions are really low. And when you take into account the fact that we have significant forests that absorb most of the carbon dioxide emissions, emissions have no borders. So, the African forests are already doing most of the absorption of carbon.” To conserve this natural resource, AFC is working to offer Africa’s residents modern systems of heating and cooking to avoid them depleting the forest for basic needs like firewood. Additionally, AFC is establishing  more resilient infrastructure that can withstand negative climate-driven impact.

However, AFC’s contribution to Africa does not end there. The company is exploring ecosystem investing; a method of enhancing Africa’s value capture in the global value chain. Following a pilot in Gabon, AFC is replicating its success across other countries, including Togo, Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire. “The whole idea” explains Zubairu, “is you create platforms whereby you put together a string of assets and you grew them at scale. That way you can attract capital directly into those assets.” AFC’s intent is to build a renewable energy platform that can be given two gigawatts of power before its arrays are expanded into further opportunities focusing on the minerals or metals required for the energy transition.

Through its actions, AFC is demonstrating its commitment to Africa’s impact and power in the modern world, while also proving that this can be done sustainably and profitably. In this way, it is clear that the financial sector can do its part to bring about a positive future for Africa and the world.

Africa, as a continent with a powerful demographic and abundant natural resources, is poised to create an incredible impact in the 21st century. However, the continent also faces a significant energy deficit and is in need of education and opportunities that keep residents and locals from leaving. Established in 2007, Africa Finance Corporation is working to provide solutions to such challenges and enable a positive future for Africa as a whole.

AFC’s purpose is to close the infrastructure gap, unleash the continent’s potential and build a reliable bridge to a prosperous African future. President and CEO, Samaila Zubairu believes it is a responsibility that must be addressed. “We are really at the bottom. We have significant hunger and poverty in spite of the significant resources we have. But I want us to take ownership of our development, and I don't want us to look to other people to develop our continent.” Typically, African governments invest in infrastructure – which is a necessity for industrialisation and to connect – but the COVID-19 pandemic has diminished their investment ability. AFC was established as a multilateral financial institution. Zubairu explains the company’s focus, “Providing solutions to Africa's infrastructure deficit and challenging operating environment by developing and financing infrastructure, natural resources and industrial assets that will enhance productivity and economic growth of African states.”

Such solutions have need of careful planning, with financial institutions requiring prepared and bankable projects before they can occur. Zubairu recounts how the city of Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire waited for a bridge for over eight years before AFC stepped in and worked with the government to de-risk the opportunity, and enable the bridge to be built.

By implementing prudent ratios and safeguards, AFC has been able to attain an investment grade rating and is now one of the highest rated institutions in Africa, allowing the organisation access to international capital markets. This, in conjunction with the company business model, allows AFC to contribute to Africa’s development by raising capital from diverse sources and to invest that capital into projects around the region.

Another important issue is that of the energy deficit and overall climate concerns. Zubairu explains, “We need energy on the continent to be able to process all the African resources. One of the things that we've done recently is to publish a white paper on climate, “Roadmap to Africa’s COP: A pragmatic path to net zero” because we think climate is very, very important. It's one of the most significant challenges facing mankind today.” However, despite this, Zubairu believes that Africa has a unique role to play. “We believe that Africa's path to net zero is unique and different from other parts of the globe, especially because our emissions are really low. And when you take into account the fact that we have significant forests that absorb most of the carbon dioxide emissions, emissions have no borders. So, the African forests are already doing most of the absorption of carbon.” To conserve this natural resource, AFC is working to offer Africa’s residents modern systems of heating and cooking to avoid them depleting the forest for basic needs like firewood. Additionally, AFC is establishing  more resilient infrastructure that can withstand negative climate-driven impact.

However, AFC’s contribution to Africa does not end there. The company is exploring ecosystem investing; a method of enhancing Africa’s value capture in the global value chain. Following a pilot in Gabon, AFC is replicating its success across other countries, including Togo, Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire. “The whole idea” explains Zubairu, “is you create platforms whereby you put together a string of assets and you grew them at scale. That way you can attract capital directly into those assets.” AFC’s intent is to build a renewable energy platform that can be given two gigawatts of power before its arrays are expanded into further opportunities focusing on the minerals or metals required for the energy transition.

Through its actions, AFC is demonstrating its commitment to Africa’s impact and power in the modern world, while also proving that this can be done sustainably and profitably. In this way, it is clear that the financial sector can do its part to bring about a positive future for Africa and the world.

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Africa Finance Corporation - Developing a Continent Through Carefully Managed Projects and Initiatives

Africa, as a continent with a powerful demographic and abundant natural resources, is poised to create an incredible impact in the 21st century. However, the continent also faces a significant energy deficit and is in need of education and opportunities that keep residents and locals from leaving. Established in 2007, Africa Finance Corporation is working to provide solutions to such challenges and enable a positive future for Africa as a whole.

AFC’s purpose is to close the infrastructure gap, unleash the continent’s potential and build a reliable bridge to a prosperous African future. President and CEO, Samaila Zubairu believes it is a responsibility that must be addressed. “We are really at the bottom. We have significant hunger and poverty in spite of the significant resources we have. But I want us to take ownership of our development, and I don't want us to look to other people to develop our continent.” Typically, African governments invest in infrastructure – which is a necessity for industrialisation and to connect – but the COVID-19 pandemic has diminished their investment ability. AFC was established as a multilateral financial institution. Zubairu explains the company’s focus, “Providing solutions to Africa's infrastructure deficit and challenging operating environment by developing and financing infrastructure, natural resources and industrial assets that will enhance productivity and economic growth of African states.”

Such solutions have need of careful planning, with financial institutions requiring prepared and bankable projects before they can occur. Zubairu recounts how the city of Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire waited for a bridge for over eight years before AFC stepped in and worked with the government to de-risk the opportunity, and enable the bridge to be built.

By implementing prudent ratios and safeguards, AFC has been able to attain an investment grade rating and is now one of the highest rated institutions in Africa, allowing the organisation access to international capital markets. This, in conjunction with the company business model, allows AFC to contribute to Africa’s development by raising capital from diverse sources and to invest that capital into projects around the region.

Another important issue is that of the energy deficit and overall climate concerns. Zubairu explains, “We need energy on the continent to be able to process all the African resources. One of the things that we've done recently is to publish a white paper on climate, “Roadmap to Africa’s COP: A pragmatic path to net zero” because we think climate is very, very important. It's one of the most significant challenges facing mankind today.” However, despite this, Zubairu believes that Africa has a unique role to play. “We believe that Africa's path to net zero is unique and different from other parts of the globe, especially because our emissions are really low. And when you take into account the fact that we have significant forests that absorb most of the carbon dioxide emissions, emissions have no borders. So, the African forests are already doing most of the absorption of carbon.” To conserve this natural resource, AFC is working to offer Africa’s residents modern systems of heating and cooking to avoid them depleting the forest for basic needs like firewood. Additionally, AFC is establishing  more resilient infrastructure that can withstand negative climate-driven impact.

However, AFC’s contribution to Africa does not end there. The company is exploring ecosystem investing; a method of enhancing Africa’s value capture in the global value chain. Following a pilot in Gabon, AFC is replicating its success across other countries, including Togo, Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire. “The whole idea” explains Zubairu, “is you create platforms whereby you put together a string of assets and you grew them at scale. That way you can attract capital directly into those assets.” AFC’s intent is to build a renewable energy platform that can be given two gigawatts of power before its arrays are expanded into further opportunities focusing on the minerals or metals required for the energy transition.

Through its actions, AFC is demonstrating its commitment to Africa’s impact and power in the modern world, while also proving that this can be done sustainably and profitably. In this way, it is clear that the financial sector can do its part to bring about a positive future for Africa and the world.

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