Africa50 Founding Shareholders' meet in Abidjan
The founding shareholders of the Africa50 Infrastructure Fund came together on Monday, May 25 in Abidjan at a meeting held during the African Development Bank's (AfDB) 50th Annual Meetings. The aim of this meeting was to discuss progress since the launch of the capitalisation process on April 8, 2015. The meeting was attended by a number of African Ministers and other government representatives.
It was chaired by AfDB President Donald Kaberuka, who is also Chairman of the Board of Africa50. In his introductory address, he focused on Africa50's mission statement and outlined progress achieved since last year's AfDB Annual Meetings in Kigali, Rwanda. "I am extremely encouraged by the support that Africa50 has received so far," stated Kaberuka. "To date, the fund has raised around US $700 million. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to those countries that have contributed. I also hope that other countries will join us in the near future. There are many regional and sub-regional infrastructure funding initiatives across Africa. However, these initiatives are fragmented and are therefore unable to reach the necessary critical mass. Africa50 offers a continent-wide alternative."
The founding shareholders in attendance at the meeting set a deadline of 15 June 2015 for submission of firm commitments and the associated minimum payments. This deadline reflects the fact that several countries are currently at an advanced stage of the official approval process. Some fifteen (15) countries have so far made firm commitments. When combined with the AfDB's contribution, this represents a total of more than US $600 million to date. Kaberuka explained that, at this pace, Africa50 is on track to achieve its US $1 billion capitalisation target by the agreed deadline.
Several of the African ministers in attendance at the meeting expressed their support for Africa50, and encouraged the interim management team to accelerate the scale-up process. Africa50 will hold an Extraordinary General Meeting at the end of June 2015 in Casablanca, Morocco, with a view to officially approving the capital increase.
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