Rwanda and Uganda have become the first East African countries to join Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), a leading development finance institution for infrastructure projects in Africa.
AFC is progressively aligning its country membership with its operational footprint, consistent with a carefully designed membership expansion strategy which has risen to 13.
Rwanda and Uganda haven signed the Corporation’s instrument of accession and acceptance have joined other members which includes: Cape Verde; Chad; Côte d’Ivoire; Gabon; the Gambia; Ghana; Guinea-Bissau; Guinea; Liberia; Nigeria and Sierra-Leone.
This marks a significant milestone in AFC’s mission to address Africa’s pressing infrastructure needs and build the foundations for robust economic development across the continent. The Corporation has so far invested $2.6 billion in projects across 24 African countries and in a wide range of sectors including power, telecommunications, transport and logistics, natural resources and heavy industries.
Andrew Alli, Chief Executive Officer of AFC, commented: “By improving the infrastructure of these fast-emerging East African economies we hope to facilitate closer intraregional trade links, a goal that can only be achieved if the adequate transport, telecommunications networks and power supply are in place. This is where AFC steps in, and we are excited by the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”
“Lack of essential infrastructure remains a critical constraint across Africa; for example, over 620 million people do not have access to reliable electricity. AFC works closely with both public and private institutions to develop innovative financing solutions for large scale infrastructure projects in Africa and oversees the whole project cycle, from concept to completion.”
Uganda and Rwanda are forecast to maintain positive growth rates over the coming years. Rwanda’s pivotal geographical location at the intersection between East and South has made it a commercial centre bridging the two regions.
Improving the quality of infrastructure is a priority for the governments of these countries. The government of Uganda, for example, plans to implement an $11 billion programme over the next ten years utilizing both the public and private sector, to upgrade the country’s power and transport infrastructure in particular.
Hon. Matia Kasaija, the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development of Uganda, stated that said it was the Ugandan government’s intention to work with different investment institutions for the development of the country.
“AFC is bringing innovation to the development and financing of infrastructure on the continent. This is in line with the EAC’s strategy of ensuring that partner states’ provide basic infrastructure ; so, we are looking forward to stronger presence of AFC in the region and particularly in Uganda,” Kasaija said.
In a recent press statement, Kasaija also added that Uganda’s partnership with AFC will go a long way in helping the Ugandan government to attain the Vision 2040 strategy of transforming Uganda from a peasant to a modern economy within 30 years.
The Rwandan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Claver Gatete, commented thus: “I am delighted to officially announce Rwanda as the first East African member country of the Africa Finance Corporation, a development institution well known for its capability of providing innovative financing solutions to large infrastructure projects on the continent.”
As one of largest financers and developers of infrastructure in Africa, AFC is perfectly placed to help improve the quality of East Africa’s infrastructure, enabling the region to capitalize on its strategic position and strong growth prospects.
This post first appeared HERE