Business News of Sunday, 27 December 2015
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has said it sunk US$1 billion into Africa’s power and infrastructure development in 2015.
A statement from the bank said experts of AfDB’s Private Sector Department (OPSD) have described the expenditure as “an unprecedented record.”
The expenditure volume was revealed at a wrap-up meeting at the bank’s Abidjan Headquarters on Friday December 18, 2015. It comes on the back of the recent approval, by the Board of Directors, of a senior loan worth US$300 million to support the construction of a 912-Km railway and associated port infrastructure of Nacala e-Velha running through landlocked Malawi.
“The Bank is proud to partner with Vale and Mitsui, along with the group of co-financiers, including International Finance Corporation (IFC), Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance, to enable the financing of this US$4.5 billion project finance investment, one of the largest single foreign direct investments into Africa in recent years,” AfDB’s Private Sector Department Director, Kodeidja Diallo, said.
Diallo said the US$4.5 billion project constitutes the largest investment made by AfDB in 2015, after Eskom South Africa. She said it stemmed from the fruitful contributions and valuable collaboration among OPSD staff and the entire Bank’s NSO Ecosystem.
“We are very pleased to announce this achievement by the Bank Group, with other key sponsors,” Diallo said.
The Nacala Rail and Port Project will enable efficient and environmentally-friendly carting of mineral resources, as well as general freight and passengers, through two of Africa’s fastest-growing economies.
In doing so, AfDB said the project stands to facilitate trade and development across the southern Africa region. Railway extension lines into neighbouring countries are currently under feasibility discussion.
The project will bring about global competitiveness to Mozambique’s mineral exports, including the country’s important coal reserves. While the rail infrastructure is anchored on the viability brought about by mineral exports in Mozambique, the project will also build competitiveness around the region’s agricultural and manufacturing trade, thus supporting Africa’s industrialisation agenda.
The Bank’s support of the Nacala Corridor is long-standing, having financed regional road infrastructure from Lusaka in Zambia to Nacala in Mozambique, also integrating Malawi. The project is, thus, complementary to AfDB’s previous investments.