27 September 2012
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has proposed plans to float Africa’s first infrastructure bonds to member nations. It will raise up to $22 billion for investments in much needed infrastructure projects such as ports, railways, roads and energy, across the African continent.
This brings to reality an initiative first raised at the March 2009 conference on Growth Corridors, hosted by Made In Africa Foundation’s Ozwald Boateng and UK Foreign Minister, David Milliband.
Made In Africa Foundation (MIAF) was founded by Mr. Boateng, Africa’s foremost designer, together with prominent Nigerian businessman Kola Aluko and the independent Nigerian oil company, Atlantic Energy (http://www.atlanticenergy.com), to support first-stage funding of infrastructure projects in Africa.
MIAF is urging the AfDB to offer the opportunity to invest in the infrastructure bonds to all. This would be in addition to funds committed by member governments.
By opening up the bond offering to everyone – private institutions such as global banks and pension funds, individuals and corporations – there would be increased transparency, and hopefully better governance, not to mention increased flows of money to fund projects.
Made In Africa Foundation was founded in 2011 by Ozwald Boateng, Kola Aluko and Atlantic Energy to support and fund master plans and feasibility studies for transformational and large scale developments across the African continent.
Atlantic Energy (http://www.atlanticenergy.com) is a private upstream oil and gas group founded by Nigerian and international exploration and production (“E&P”) executives with an extensive track record and experience in the Nigerian E&P sector.
The company currently operates in Nigeria and is dedicated to its partners and communities through its Enduring Commitment sustainability program.
The $22bn would take advantage of the AfDB’s AAA rating which would make its African bonds a more secure investment than those issued by a number of European states potentially, making it one of the more attractive opportunities in the global debt capital markets.
The investment of $22bn in infrastructure projects across Africa would, if implemented properly, have a positive effect on the continent’s GDP, raising it by an estimated 2%. This would lift millions out of poverty and dramatically decrease regional disparity.
Its effect on Africa could be similar to the Marshall Plan which was a huge stimulus for growth on the European continent in the post war period.
Presently, the AfDB envisages that this $22bn investment will only be offered to member states. AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka, is expected to ask African governments at the IMF summit in Tokyo this October to commit 5% of their foreign currency reserves to take up the opportunity.
MIAF believes that the estimated trillion dollar savings pools controlled by the African middle class and the African Diaspora, deserve to be offered this opportunity to grow and develop their own continent.
If combined with favourable tax treatment, it would be a chance for many to repatriate the “missing billions” that have dissipated from Africa’s shores to low interest tax havens over the past decades. Let Africans have the chance to show their belief in their own continent.
“The global African diaspora is a trillion dollar economy already investing $30bn in remittances to the continent every year,” says Ozwald Boateng, “The AfDB’s ‘triple A’ guarantee would provide security and an excellent return for them. How can we ignore them?”
“We have made an Enduring Commitment to develop Africa and its abundant resources through energy and infrastructural development“, said Kola Aluko, “AfDB’s initiative will enhance Africa’s growth potential dramatically. It is to be applauded”
Atlantic Energy Co-Ceo, Scott Aitken said; “Atlantic Energy is pleased with the AfDB’s initiative, it will encourage infrastructural development much like Atlantic Energy and the Made in Africa Foundation has sought to promote, foster an upswing in infrastructural development across Africa and hopefully, lead to more initiatives like this in the near future.”