African Investment fund allocated $30m by UK firm

UK emerging markets investor CDC has made a commitment to an Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) fund focused on developing basic infrastructure on the continent.

The firm, which has historically been a fund of funds investor but is set to resume direct investment activities as a result of a government probe into the firm’s activities, has pledged $30m to AIIM’s African Infrastructure Investment Fund 2.

With a target of $600m, the fund is to invest in a range of new and existing transport and power infrastructure projects such as toll roads, ports and rail, wind farms and other forms of renewable and traditional energy, with investments ranging between $30m and $100m.

AIIM has form investing in African infrastructure, with previous projects including a toll road in Lagos, Nigeria, and a 100MW wind farm in South Africa, and is looking to expand its operations beyond its comfort zone of South Africa to a wider range of sub-Saharan African countries.

CDC’s own investment in infrastructure projects in Africa currently stands at approximately £250m (€289.8m) and includes an electricity distribution company which brings energy to hundreds of thousands of consumers in Uganda, a communications cable network in Kenya and a utility company supplying water to households in Cote d’Ivoire.

Rod Evison, CDC’s managing director for Africa and Latin America, said, “The $30m commitment that CDC is announcing today will play a key part in addressing the shortage of equity capital that holds back the development of vital infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Reliable power supply and road networks are essential for economic growth and sustainability and for improving the quality of people lives in some of the world’s poorest countries,” he added.

CDC is set to restructure in the wake of media criticism of the conduct and renumeration of the state-owned firm’s senior executives.

A Freedom of Information request by UK newspaper the Daily Mail revealed charges by employees for expensive restaurants and five star hotels, which led to a full-scale government probe.

The reformed CDC will resume direct investments and have a wider range of financial tools at its disposal, such as debt, equity and guarantees.

Source – AltAssets