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1 June 2010 —The African Development Bank (AfDB), European Investment Bank (EIB), and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), announce support for the African Capitalization Fund, a new private equity fund to be created by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Asset Management Company. The Fund will seek to capitalize systemically important private sector commercial banking institutions in Africa to spur economic recovery and job creation. The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) also announced today that a commitment to the fund is under consideration.
AfDB, EIB, OFID and other investors will provide up to USD 200 million in commitments for the Fund that aims to strengthen the banking sector by increasing capacity for lending by African banks, improving corporate governance and risk management, and contributing to increased efficiency and access to finance in areas that are today poorly served by banking services. The Fund will seek a minimum of five percent ownership through equity or equity-related investments jointly with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, or other funds managed by the AMC, a wholly owned subsidiary of IFC.
The new Fund builds on the commitment of leading international financial institutions to respond jointly to conditions created by the recent global financial crisis. By attracting sovereign wealth funds, the new investment vehicle aims to demonstrate that commercially viable investment can make large contributions to Africa’s development.
AfDB Vice President Bobby Pittman said, “This commitment by the AfDB in the Africa Capitalization Fund demonstrates our determination to support a strong banking sector for the long term strength of African economies, and our understanding that we can do more together than we can do alone. We are proud to be encouraging this partnership—a first of its type—between AfDB, EIB, OFID, and IFC. ”
“The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting a strong foundation for Africa’s capital markets and today’s partnership sends a clear signal of confidence about the opportunities to engage in Africa’s financial markets.” said Plutarchos Sakellaris, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for Africa.
OFID Assistant Director-General Operations Management, Said Aissi, said “The OPEC Fund for International Development, OFID, is committed to collaborate in the strengthening of the African financial sector and to partner with institutions that share our values to bring opportunities to some of the most vulnerable countries”.
“Building partnerships and mobilizing capital for private sector development is an important part of IFC’s strategy for having greater impact in Africa. Today’s commitments demonstrate the value of working together with other institutions to achieve more for the people of Africa,” said Thierry Tanoh, IFC Vice President for Africa.
Dedicated solely to investments in Banks in Africa, the Africa Capitalization Fund’s investment strategy is tailored to meet the demands and dynamics of Africa. It is expected to contribute to the stabilization and improvement of financial services in Africa and accelerate economic recovery and limit the social costs associated with the global financial crisis.
Through its private sector window, the African Development Bank supports private initiatives and provides financial assistance for commercially viable projects. Bank financing is provided to private enterprises and financial institutions in the form of term loans, equity and quasi-equity investments, guarantees, underwriting and loan syndication. The bank also extends lines of credit to private financial intermediaries, especially commercial banks, investment banks and development finance institutions. In general, the bank contribution to any project amounts to about one third of the total project cost. In 2009, Private Sector operations reached a record of about USD 2.0 billion for 31 projects of which 42 % were in support financial institutions.
The European Investment Bank, the long-term lending institution of the European Union, whose shareholders are the 27 European Union member states, has been active across Africa for over 40 years. EIB activities follow policies and objectives set down by European Union member states and whose Finance Ministers are the EIB’s Governors.
The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) is a development finance institution established in 1976 by the Member States of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The primary aim of OFID is to contribute to the social and economic development of emerging and less advanced countries. All developing countries, with the exception of OPEC Member Countries, are in principle eligible for OFID assistance. Today, 125 countries spread across Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Europe have benefited from OFID's assistance. OFID’s total commitments as of the end of April 2010 stood at US$11,926 million, of which US$7,320 million have been disbursed. OFID’s resources consist of contributions made by OPEC Member Countries and the accumulated reserves derived from its various operations.