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Wednesday, 8 March 2023

Africa Finance Corporation lines up USD 1 bn+ investment after Egypt becomes paid-up member

AFC plans to invest USD 1 bn in Egypt’s energy + industrial sectors: The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) has identified an “immediate project pipeline” of investments worth more than USD 1 bn in Egyptian infrastructure projects, it said in a statement (pdf) yesterday. The projects are in the renewable energy, natural gas, heavy industries, tech, telecoms, banking, and finance sectors, it said.

We’re now a fully paid-up member of the AFC: Egypt has made an unspecified equity investment in the pan-African multilateral development institution, becoming its first North African sovereign shareholder, according to the statement. The corporation had not updated its shareholder information on its website at the time of writing.

REMEMBER- The House of Representatives in December greenlit plans for Egypt to join the multilateral lender, which were approved by cabinet a year earlier. Speaking with Enterprise back in July 2021, AFC President and CEO Samaila Zubairu said that Egypt’s membership would put the country in line for more than USD 1 bn in big-ticket investments, way beyond the few sub-USD 100 mn investments received as non-members.

On renewables, think Lekela: AFC will primarily look to invest in firms where it has “influence and representation on the board,” Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer Sameh Shenouda was quoted as telling Al Arabiya. AFC and our friends at renewables player Infinity Group agreed to acquire 100% of pan-African renewables firm Lekela Power from private equity firm Actis and Irish wind / solar developer Mainstream Renewable Power last summer, in a transaction that reportedly valued the company at USD 1.5 bn. AFC and Infinity last year said they want to raise USD 2.5-4 bn over the next four years to double the capacity of Lekela.

AFC is also in talks with the Sovereign Fund of Egypt regarding “more than one project,” Shenouda told Al Arabiya. The central bank and the Finance Ministry are also in discussions with AFC for it to act as a guarantor on international bond issuances, he added.

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