AfDB’s plans to float Africa’s first infrastructure bonds to member nations to raise up to US$ 22 billion for investments in much needed infrastructure projects such as ports, railways, roads and energy, across the African continent, have received support from Atlantic Energy and Made in Africa Foundation (MIAF).
This brings to reality an initiative first raised at the March 2009 conference on Growth Corridors, hosted by Made In Africa Foundation’s Ozwald Boateng and UK Foreign Minister, David Miliband, according to a press statement released here by the AfDB.
MIAF was founded by Mr. Boateng, Africa’s foremost designer, together with prominent Nigerian businessman Kola Aluko and the independent Nigerian oil company, Atlantic Energy to support first-stage funding of infrastructure projects in Africa.
MIAF is urging the AfDB to offer the opportunity to invest in the infrastructure bonds to all as this would be in addition to funds committed by member governments.
By opening up the bond offering to everyone – private institutions such as global banks and pension funds, individuals and corporations – there would be increased transparency, and hopefully better governance, not to mention increased flows of money to fund projects.
The US$ 22 billion would take advantage of the AfDB’s AAA rating which would make its African bonds a more secure investment than those issued by a number of European states potentially, making it one of the more attractive opportunities in the global debt capital markets.
The investment of US$ 22 billion in infrastructure projects across Africa would, if implemented properly, have a positive effect on the continent’s GDP, raising it by an estimated 2%.
This would lift millions out of poverty and dramatically decrease regional disparity. Its effect on Africa could be similar to the Marshall Plan which was a huge stimulus for growth on the European continent in the post-war period.
The AfDB envisages that this US$ 22 billion investment will only be offered to member states. AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka, is expected to ask African governments at the IMF summit in Tokyo this October to commit 5% of their foreign currency reserves to take up the opportunity.
MIAF believes that the estimated trillion dollar savings pools controlled by the African middle class and the African Diaspora, deserve to be offered this opportunity to grow and develop their own continent.
If combined with favourable tax treatment, it would be a chance for many to repatriate the “missing billions” that have dissipated from Africa’s shores to low interest tax havens over the past decades. Let Africans have the chance to show their belief in their own continent.
“The global African diaspora is a trillion dollar economy already investing US$ 30 billion in remittances to the continent every year,” says Boateng, “The AfDB’s ‘triple A’ guarantee would provide security and an excellent return for them. How can we ignore them?”
“We have made an Enduring Commitment to develop Africa and its abundant resources through energy and infrastructural development“, said Kola Aluko, “AfDB’s initiative will enhance Africa’s growth potential dramatically. It is to be applauded”
Atlantic Energy is a private upstream oil and gas group founded by Nigerian and international exploration and production executives with an extensive track record and experience in the Nigerian E