The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) is a multilateral finance institution, with a capital base of US$1 billion. The AFC was established in 2007 and is committed to driving infrastructural development and economic stability on the continent. The corporation recently signed on two more countries to its portfolio of 11 countries. Rwanda and Uganda are the first Eastern African countries to become members of the AFC.
Member countries of the AFC include Cape Verde, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra-Leone. Last month, Côte d’Ivoire signed on as the 11th member of the AFC. Rwanda signed the Corporation’s instrument of accession and acceptance of membership on 4 November and Uganda signed on 6 November.
Both countries membership show AFC’s commitment to a membership expansion strategy that will benefit those countries as the AFC attempts to address Africa’s infrastructure needs. To date, the Corporation has invested US$2.6 billion in projects across 24 African countries and in a wide range of sectors including power, telecommunications, transport and logistics, natural resources and heavy industries.
Uganda and Rwanda are forecast to maintain positive growth rates over the coming years, with the IMF predicting 5.6 percent and 7 percent GDP growth in 2015 respectively. Rwanda’s pivotal geographical location at the intersection between East and South has made it a commercial centre bridging the two regions.
Commenting on the new membership of both countries, AFC, CEO, Andrew Alli said the AFC is excited by the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead of them. “By improving the infrastructure of these fast-emerging East African economies we hope to facilitate closer intra-regional trade links, a goal that can only be achieved if the adequate transport, telecommunications networks and power supply are in place. Lack of essential infrastructure remains a critical constraint across Africa; for example, over 620 million people do not have access to reliable electricity. AFC works closely with both public and private institutions to develop innovative financing solutions for large scale infrastructure projects in Africa and oversees the whole project cycle, from concept to completion.”
Hon. Matia Kasaija, the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development of Uganda, said Uganda is pleased to become one of the first East African countries to become members of the AFC. “AFC is bringing innovation to the development and financing of infrastructure on the continent.” While the Rwandan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Claver Gatete, said Rwanda the country stands to benefit from AFC’s financing solutions. “I am delighted to officially announce Rwanda as the first East African member country of the Africa Finance Corporation, a development institution well known for its capability of providing innovative financing solutions to large infrastructure projects on the continent.”
With this recent membership of the AFC, Rwanda and Uganda can expect more infrastructural development and full exploration of their natural resources, heavy industry, transport, and telecommunications sectors.