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AfDB assesses success of African Investment Forum

by Business News Report

The just-concluded Africa Investment Forum successfully convened key stakeholders and provided a platform for effective dialogue to drive investments into the continent. Running on the margins of the Forum, the Africa Energy Market Place (AEMP) progressed with country-specific discussions that began at the inaugural AEMP in July 2018 aimed at removing barriers to private sector investments in energy. Noteworthy gains were realised in the energy sector as various expressions and letters of interest were signed for projects in Ethiopia, Ghana, Angola and Cameroon, signalling commitment to continued collaboration.

On 8 November, the African Development Bank (AfDB) signed a Letter of Interest for a US$100 million blended finance facility for Ethiopia’s Off-grid programme. The operation, co-financed by the Bank and the European Union, is intended to support the off-grid sector, in line with Ethiopia’s National Electrification Plan targeting up to 5.7 million household connections by 2025. Speaking at the signing, Bank President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, praised Ethiopia’s efficient utilization of financial resources. Also present at the signing, Ethiopia’s H.E. Sahle-Work Zewde reiterated Ethiopia’s commitment to ensuring that funds are optimally utilized to develop the country.

The Bank and Aenergy signed a Letter of Interest to arrange US$ 500 million of development finance capital for the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) project. Standard Bank will arrange US$ 300 million of commercial banking finance, bringing the total amount to US$ 800 million. his amount will supplement the investments of Aenergy and its partners. Aenergy is an Angolan-based, Africa-focused energy sector investor, developer and operator who was selected through a tender process as the preferred bidder for ECG’s distribution business. “Utilities are pivotal in driving economic growth and transforming industry. We are very proud to be associated with Aenergy to drive this project which will have a major impact on the Ghanaian economy”, said Amadou Hott, Bank Vice President Vice-President Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth.

The Bank also signed an Expression of Interest with Aenergy for power generation projects in Angola and Cameroon with a combined power output of over 1000MW. “We are really looking forward to working with the Bank on these strategically important projects and for the opportunity to contribute to the growth strategies of Angola and Cameroon,” said Ricardo Machado, founder and CEO of Aenergy. Other positive outcomes in the follow-up boardroom conversations included continued progress and clarity on regulatory and policy issues, tariffs, liquidity, and reforms to fast-track transactions and move pipeline projects towards completion.

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