AFDB Approves $20 Million Investment in Private Equity Fund Targeting the Infrastructure Sector in Africa

In late May 2023, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group approved an equity investment of $20 million in the Africa50 Infrastructure Acceleration Fund I in support of its target to mobilize private capital for infrastructure across the continent. The Fund is a pan-African infrastructure private equity fund that is mobilizing up to $500 million for investment and value creation in strategic infrastructure sectors. These include power, energy, digital and social infrastructure, transportation, logistics, and water and sanitation.

The Africa50 Infrastructure Acceleration Fund I is sponsored by Africa50, an infrastructure investment platform established by governments and the AfDB. Africa50 brings infrastructure project development and financing under one umbrella and has a strong track record of investments in the private sector and of projects undertaken under a Public Private-Partnership (PPP) framework. The mobilization of private capital is critical to closing the infrastructure financing gap in Africa, especially given the limited fiscal space of African governments which currently provide the largest source of infrastructure funding on the continent.

Further, by leveraging private capital for infrastructure investment, the Africa50 Infrastructure Acceleration Fund I will help create jobs, strengthen healthcare access, improve education access through digital technologies, enhance access to financial services and financial inclusion through fintech investments, and reduce the impact of climate change. The fund is projected to create 3,278 full-time equivalent jobs over the period 2023-2035, including 1,676 jobs for women. In addition, the fund is expected to contribute to fostering regional integration through improvements in transport and logistics infrastructure that can lead to increased inter and intra-regional trade.

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