The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has inaugurated a $15 million project preparation facility aimed at increasing the availability of a viable and well-prepared projects in Africa that is bankable and attractive to investors.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, Afreximbank’s President said the Afreximbank Project Preparation Facility (APPF) was inaugurated in Johannesburg, South Africa on Nov. 8, on the side-lines of the Africa Investment Forum.
It aims at providing technical and financial support to early stage companies in the preparation and development of projects from conceptual stage to bankability stage to attract interest from equity investors and debt financiers.
Afreximbank has set up the APPF with an initial seed capital investment of up to 15 million dollars.
Oramah said: “The facility would support transactions that sought to implement logistical platforms that supported export growth and diversification’’.
He said it could also support transactions that facilitated the assimilation of African commodities into global value chains, or increased the volume and flow of tradable goods and services along Africa’s trade corridors.
According Oramah, the facility supports Afreximbank’s mandate and strategy which seeks to promote intra-African trade, industrialisation and export development activities in the continent.
Mr Tshepo Mahloele, the Chief Executive Officer of Harith General Partners, a leading pan-African infrastructure developer as commending the APPF.
Mahloele said the facility was a bold step in the right direction to assist Africa to unleash its full potential through de-risking of investments early on in the project preparation cycle.
He said the project preparation step was often overlooked in the pursuit of quick returns, and Harith was ensuring an efficient and professional preparation of infrastructure projects.
According to him, Africa has long been at the mercy of poor planning, leading to infrastructure project backlogs that has limited Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth by at least two per cent per annum.
Also speaking, Mr Zitto Alfayo, the Manager, Project Finance, said that the APPF would be operated on full cost recovery basis and would be primarily open to African governments, public-private partnerships and private corporates.
Alfayo said Afreximbank’s intervention would complement the on-going project preparation initiatives and culminate in shortening the project preparation cycle, thereby fast-tracking Africa economic development.
The specific sectors of intervention were activities related to development of logistical platforms.
The platforms include industrial parks, value added projects supporting manufacturing and services exports, tradable services, ICT and trade enabling infrastructure encompassing energy, transport and logistics sectors.