(Ecofin Agency) - Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), a pan-African multilateral development financial institution established in 2007, announced that it has now reached 31 member states constituting more than half the continent.
In the first quarter of this year, membership by Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Morocco added up the number to 31 member states.
“This is a landmark achievement for AFC as we continue to expand our footprint across the continent,” said Samaila Zubairu, President and CEO of AFC. He continued, “It is my pleasure to welcome the Republic of Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Kingdom of Morocco as member countries of AFC. With this expanded membership and our technical expertise, we are empowered to deliver critical infrastructure with a greater focus on energy, renewables, and digital infrastructure rebuilding a more resilient and sustainable economy post-COVID-19.”
In an attempt to bridge Africa’s infrastructure gap, the AFC has up to date invested over $8.7 billion in projects in 35 African countries. The development finance institution typically invests in high-quality infrastructure assets that provide essential services in key infrastructure sectors - power, natural resources, heavy industry, transport, and telecommunications.
Despite significant progress being made in closing this gap, Africa still lags
According to a recent publication by McKinsey and Company, most of Africa lags in the coverage of core infrastructure sectors. Taking electricity, for instance, about 600 million Sub-Saharan Africans lack access to grid electricity accounting for more than two-thirds of the global population without power. McKinsey further forecasts that this unmet electricity demand will quadruple in years to come.
Membership and benefits
AFC membership is structured into two levels; membership only, and membership and shareholdings. Out of the 31 member states, four countries including Ghana, Gabon, Guinea, and Nigeria (the host country) earn sovereign shareholding of AFC.
Member states benefit from increased investment allocation, and access to public sector advisory and project development facilities. On the other hand, sovereign shareholder member states, on top of the above-mentioned, benefit from competitive finance for projects.