Welcome remarks by Alain Ebobisse, the CEO of Africa50

 Your Excellency Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente. Chairman of the Board of Directors of Africa50, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Honorable Ministers, Heads of Africa50 Shareholder delegations, Members of the Africa50 Board of Directors, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Colleagues, Good morning

 It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the 2019 General Shareholders Meeting of Africa50 Project Development and Africa50 Project Finance.

 Please allow me to give a special welcome to our very honored guest and host, His Excellency Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente representing His Excellency President Paul Kagame.

Thank you so much for joining us Mr. Prime Minister.

 And thank you for your support and guidance as we work with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology and the Rwanda Development Board on the ground-breaking Kigali Innovation City project, for which we will soon be signing a Joint Development Agreement.

 Mr. Prime Minister, please convey my deep appreciation to His Excellency President Paul Kagame for making Rwanda an Africa50 shareholder and for his continued strong support.

Under his astute leadership Rwanda has put in place an exemplary government, which you have ably led since 2017.

 Your innovative approach to providing government services, your promotion of women, your creation of one of the world’s most business-friendly environments, and your 2 strong economic growth, have set a high standard for others to follow.

We know that you and the distinguished members of the government here today share the mission of Africa50, which is to promote sustainable growth in Africa through modern infrastructure.

We have made significant progress over the past year.

 With our growing staff and fully running operations, we are increasing the number of our investments. In the power sector some of the projects we funded have reached financial close and others are already operating, delivering electricity to businesses and people of Africa.

In addition, we have started working in new sectors such as ICT and transport.

I am pleased to report that, in only three years of active operations, Africa50 is now recognized as an important player in Africa’s infrastructure scene.

We have invested, or are considering investments, in the majority of our 27 shareholder countries. We will review many of these investments this afternoon during our closed session including those that our Chairman will mention shortly. But let me highlight some of the projects we are considering in countries that are attending this shareholders meeting at the Ministerial level, in addition of course to the Kigali Innovation City project that I have mentioned earlier.

 In Madagascar we are considering investing in a major hydroelectric project. Our chairman just returned from an official visit to Madagascar where he met with President Rajoelina for discussions that included this project.

Thank you Finance 3 Minister Randriamandrato for being here. We look forward to working with you on this important project.

 In DRC we are assessing several projects, including the flagship two Congo bridge transport project, which the Chairman and I recently discussed with President Tshisekedi.

 Thank you Minister Kalala for being here and for your support of Africa50.

  In the Republic of Guinea, we are considering investing in the Gbessia Airport project, in a broadband PPP project, and in a deep-sea port. President Condé is following these projects closely and regularly encourages us to fast track implementation. Thank you Minister Doumbouya for being here.

  Finally, in Kenya we are working on a project that could become the first major Independent Power Transmission project in Africa. This would pave the way for significant private investment in transmission, which has generally been financed by the public sector. Thank you, Cabinet Secretary Rotich, for being here.

We have made good progress on this project since President Kenyatta chose Africa50 as lead developer at our shareholders meeting in Nairobi last year. We look forward to your continued support.

 

  • Ladies and gentlemen, dear shareholders and stakeholders, at Africa50 we are working hard to fulfil our mandate. These are only some of the projects we are working on. We have a strong investment pipeline that addresses many of our continent’s most pressing infrastructure needs.
  • However, given the large infrastructure gap we must grow our capital beyond the current $871 million. We are doing this by increasing the number of shareholder countries at the rate of least 4 two a year. We will also leverage our existing funds to raise significant capital from institutional investors within and outside Africa50. Our near-term target is at least one billion dollars.
  • We must also substantially increase our already strong project pipeline, finding worthwhile investments in all 27 shareholder countries.
  • I am confident that Africa50 can achieve these goals thanks to our comparative advantages.

 One of these is the support of our country shareholders present here today, as well as that of the African Development Bank, whose President, Dr. Adesina, is also our Chairman.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for leading our excellent Board of Directors, whose guidance is so important.

Another advantage is our integrated approach. With the ability to deploy capital into both the early stages of project development and the later stages, we can function like a one-stop shop throughout the lifecycle of a project. o And finally, we are a small organization with a private sector approach.

Combined with an efficient, decision-making process, this gives us the ability to respond rapidly to stakeholders’ needs and to implement projects quickly

  • Africa’s infrastructure needs will continue to grow at a faster pace than governments can mobilise the financial resources to meet them.
  • At Africa50 we will do our part by financing and developing projects, by leveraging the support of development finance institutions and the private sector, and by working with our shareholder governments to speed implementation.
  • As I have said before, a game changer in the infrastructure space in Africa will occur when enough decision makers acknowledge that the opportunity cost of delayed projects implementation is very high.

Doing nothing or slowing down projects costs money and deprives citizens of services and economic opportunity.

  • It is time for action, not words. Africans need infrastructure and we, as an African financed and run investment platform can help. So bring us your projects and we will work with you to deliver them.

Thank you for your attention.

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