African Legal Support Facility launch energy project financing resource handbook

27/05/2016
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Sixtus Vusi, Chairman of the African Legal Support Facility, launches the handbook Understanding Power Project Financing.

The African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) unveiled a new resource handbook titled Understanding Power Project Financing, on the sidelines of the African Development Bank Annual Meetings, in Lusaka, Zambia. The handbook addresses the challenges and strategies of private financing of a power project with a focus on the mechanisms utilised by stakeholders to address issues surrounding project financing particularly credit enhancement.

The handbook is intended to enhance knowledge and understanding of the crucial financing issues involved in the negotiation of contracts in the energy sector. The release of the handbook is in line with the ALSF’s approach that involves assisting the governments and the private sector to bridge the communication gap by creating a common language for all parties.

“We assist governments in preparing a negotiation strategy, assembling a negotiation team, and the transfer of long-term knowledge to the governments is the overarching goal,” said the ALSF Director, Stephen Karangizi. Our participation allows bankable deals to be concluded in an expeditious manner, he added.

“Streamlining the power project process is one of the most valuable roles Power Africa plays,” said Power Africa Coordinator, Andrew Herscowitz. “For Africa’s incredible energy resources to be put to work – and to benefit people across the continent – we have to link investors and developers with opportunities that are as bankable and shovel-ready as possible.

The handbook was developed by the ALSF in partnership with Power Africa through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) using the “Book Sprint” method, an intensive drafting process that convened a group of experts with the goal of getting from concept to publication in just five days. The contributing authors for the handbook include power sector experts from the Nigerian Government, the African Development Bank Group, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the World Bank Group, Power Africa and internationally renowned lawyers and bankers.

This resource is a follow-up to the well-received handbook “Understanding Power Purchase Agreements” and is aligned to the ALSF’s Knowledge Management strategic pillar that provides assistance relating to the development, collection, and management of products through multiple forums thus facilitating access to information for legal professionals and government officials of African countries.

With more than 15,000 copies in print and thousands more downloaded online, this guide is considered by power sector experts as one of the most vital resources to help drive private investment in power projects in Africa. A French-language version of Understanding Power Purchase Agreements was released in December 2015 at COP21 in Paris.

The newly published handbook is available for download from our website www.aflsf.org

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About the African Legal Support Facility

The African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) is a public international institution hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group. The ALSF is dedicated to providing legal advice and technical assistance to African countries in the negotiation of complex commercial transactions, creditor litigation and other related sovereign transactions. The ALSF also develops and proposes innovative tools for capacity building and knowledge management. To date, the ALSF has cumulatively approved 88 operations totalling US $36.05 million spread across infrastructure related interventions, natural resource & extractive industries management, debt management and capacity building interventions.

About Power Africa

Power Africa is a U.S. Government-led initiative launched by President Obama in 2013. Power Africa’s goals are to increase electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa by adding more than 30,000 megawatts of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity and 60 million new home and business connections. Power Africa works with African governments and private sector partners to remove barriers that impede sustainable energy development in sub-Saharan Africa and to unlock the substantial wind, solar, hydropower, natural gas, biomass, and geothermal resources on the continent.

About the Commercial Law Development Program

The mission of the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) is to improve the legal environment for doing business in developing and transitional countries around the globe. Established in 1992, CLDP is a division of the US Department of Commerce’s Office of General Counsel that partners with developing and post-conflict countries on commercial legal reforms. CLDP’s unique government-to-government technical assistance draws upon highly-experienced regulators, judges, policymakers, business leaders and attorneys from both the public and private sectors to deliver results that make meaningful and lasting changes to the legal and judicial environments of host countries.