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Tunis, 10 December 2008 - The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) approved has a US$ 30 million equity investment in the African Energy Infrastructure Fund (AEIF or the Fund), the first Pan-African private equity fund to focus on investing in power and energy projects. Since 1997, the Bank has approved a total of 15 private sector equity investments amounting to approximately USD 380 million.
AEIF is a proposed USD 500 millions, Mauritius-based, private equity fund with a USD 150 million scheduled first closing. The Fund will be managed by Prescient Fieldstone Investment Management (PFIM), a joint venture between Prescient and Fieldstone Africa. Fieldstone Africa is an award winning transaction advisory company specializing in the energy and energy related infrastructure sector, with significant experience in capital-raising services. Prescient is a leading independent South African asset management company. Prescient Investment Management manages in excess of R50bn on behalf of the South African Retirement Fund industry.
This initiative has come at an opportune time to unlock and catalyze long-term capital needed for the sector and help Africa to meet its significant energy needs. The Fund is well placed to provide investors with consistent long-term capital gains as well as interest and dividend income. This will not only help Africa to meet its huge energy needs but also create the socioeconomic bedrock for sustainable growth in the wider economy.
"AEIF is really long overdue as Africa is already experiencing debilitating power shortage from Egypt to South Africa. By investing in such a Fund, the Bank will help to meet the need for secure and reliable energy while complying with the highest environmental and social standards," says Tim Turner, AfDB Private Sector Department Director.
AEIF is the Bank’s first investment in a fund with a sole focus on energy infrastructure – a key sector that is aligned to the Bank’s infrastructure orientation and the private sector development strategy. AEIF’s pipeline of projects shows high commercial viability and augurs positively for long-term financial sustainability. The selected projects will have significant development impact and are individually congruent with the Bank’s Country Strategy Papers, and its overall poverty reduction strategy. Furthermore, AEIF’s investments will contribute to increased power supply, which will lead to an export of electricity to neighboring countries. This will support regional integration, which is another priority area of Bank interventions.
"The AEIF aims to be the partner investor of choice for developers and owners of energy infrastructure projects in Africa.. As a result we believe that the Fund will enhance local African financial markets through the creation of a vehicle that efficiently mobilizes domestic and regional pension and insurance funds for investment in power and energy infrastructure, says Jonathan Berman, MD of the Fund Advisors.
The Fund is expected to catalyze an additional USD 5 billion of new financing that will result in over 5000 megawatts of new power production capacity by 2015.
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