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The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved its third equity investment of $40 million in the Africa Infrastructure Investment Fund (AIIF3). This is a closed-ended pan-African infrastructure fund managed by South Africa-based Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM).

The Fund will focus on “acquiring positions of significant influence” in roads, airports, rail links, bridges, ports, logistics, power generation, utility distribution, as well as telecommunication assets. Having reviewed hundreds of potential investments, AIIM has narrowed down a pipeline of around $500 million, including key projects such as Bugesera Airport, Libreville Bypass, and the Kampala-Jinja Expressway.

This is the AfDB’s third investment with this fund manager. In a statement, AIIM said that commercial and institutional investors are likely to view the Bank’s investment as a positive demonstration effect, and that the Bank’s investment will also ensure the highest environmental and social standards are applied to AIIF3.

AIIF3 will create a “quantifiable and measurable social and environmental impact” by supporting energy and transport infrastructure access across sub-Saharan Africa. The Fund will support the creation of over 1 500 jobs at the project level and enhance capacity building and skills-transfer, the asset managers said.

According to the AfDB’s Group’s Director of Infrastructure and Urban Development, Amadou Oumarou, This equity investment is fully aligned with the Bank’s operational priorities and the High 5s, particularly ‘Industrialize Africa,’ ‘Light up and Power Africa,’ and ‘Integrate Africa’. It will sustain the development of Africa’s infrastructure market.

“The recent downturn in global commodity prices and a reorientation away from private equity in Africa by a few DFIs have lowered fundraising expectations across the board. This is negatively affecting the availability of equity capital for Africa’s infrastructure space. In this sense, the Bank would play a counter-cyclical role through this investment,” he says.

AIIF is has five regional offices in South Africa, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, and Kenya. It is one of Africa’s most experienced infrastructure fund managers. AIIF3 boasts a pipeline of bankable or near-bankable infrastructure projects.

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