Infrastructure Development in West Africa: AfDB Invests US $20 Million in ARM-Harith Infrastructure Fund
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved on Wednesday, October 30 a US $20 million equity investment in ARM-Harith Infrastructure Fund (ARMHIF). ARMHIF is a new infrastructure private equity fund based in Nigeria with a targeted fund size of US $250 million.
The lack of efficient infrastructure is a major obstacle to doing business in West Africa. Better infrastructure in the region would create an enabling environment for economic growth by competitiveness of local production, promoting foreign direct investment and facilitating trade. The level of investment required for infrastructure development is far in excess of public and donor resources. The AfDB support to ARMHIF will catalyze further resources necessary to develop infrastructure projects.
ARMHIF has been set up to invest, through equity, in infrastructure projects and companies across West Africa, with a focus on Nigeria. The Fund will invest in assets across a range infrastructure sectors including energy, transport, ICT, water and utilities. ARMHIF is sponsored by Asset and Resource Management Company Ltd. (ARM), a leading Nigerian non-bank financial services company established in 1994 and currently managing over US $2.7 billion of assets. ARM has formed a partnership with Harith General Partners (Harith), an experienced infrastructure investment manager on the continent, to manage the Fund. Harith already manage the US $630-million Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund (PAIDF).
Mouhamadou Niang, Acting Director of the AfDB’s private sector department, said “the Bank’s support to ARMHIF will contribute toward the delivery of modern and reliable infrastructure that will reduce the cost of doing business and enhance the region’s competitiveness”.
“We are very pleased to have an institution of the calibre of the AfDB as an anchor investor in our new Fund. AfDB has been instrumental in attracting the interest of other investors, including Nigerian Pension Funds, a sector that has a significant role to play in providing long-term capital for funding infrastructure development in Nigeria and beyond. We see tremendous infrastructure investment opportunities throughout West Africa. Having the equity capital to deploy is an important part of the equation,” said Opuiyo Oforiokuma, Managing Director, ARM Infrastructure.