20 countries sign up to $3bn Africa-wide infrastructure fund

A fund intended to promote infrastructure development across Africa held its inaugural meeting in Morocco earlier this week.

Called "Africa50" the fund is backed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and 20 countries from across the continent, which have together put up $830m for the fund’s initial share capital.

Africa50’s medium-term capitalisation is projected to reach $3bn.

Donald Kaberuka, president of AfDB and chairman of Africa50, said: "The large presence of African states and their financial commitments are a testimony to a shared vision to find new ways to accelerate the provision of infrastructure. Africa50 will be a step change for infrastructure financing and development in Africa."

Founding membership was restricted to African countries, however it is expected that private funders who wish to become involved will be allowed to invest before the end of the year.

The aim of the fund is to mobilise long-term investment from around the world for the financing of commercially viable projects across the continent.

The fund is targeting institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, insurance companies and other sources of long-term finance around the world.

Africa50 expects to start developing and financing projects before the end of 2015.

The founding countries are Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, The Gambia and Togo.

Photograph: The members of the fund at their inaugural meeting in Morocco (Source: AfDB)

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