Africa Finance Corporation, the continent’s leading infrastructure solutions provider, today announces Ethiopia as its 40th member state – a landmark achievement in the corporation’s journey toward ensuring a pragmatic and coordinated approach to infrastructure development and value addition on the continent.
Accession by Africa’s second most populous nation, with 115 million people, means AFC now enjoys member support from three-quarters of African countries. Ethiopia is the seventh country to join in the past year, alongside Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Somalia, South Sudan and Tunisia.
Ethiopia’s membership of AFC comes at a time of heightened economic momentum in the country. AFC has already identified a US$300 million pipeline of projects to capture value from Ethiopia’s metal and mineral exports and bring jobs in catalytic sectors including power, renewable energy, logistics, telecommunications and mining, advancing the country’s position as one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies.
Ahmed Shide the Ethiopian Minister of Finance, said: “The experience, knowledge and capital represented by Africa Finance Corporation will be essential to building sustainable infrastructure at scale to catalyse growth and jobs, aligned with our economic reform agenda and broader development goals.”
One of AFC’s earliest projects, back in 2009, was focused on developing transportation in Ethiopia by co-financing the acquisition of five new Boeing 777-260LR aircrafts for Ethiopian Airlines. AFC’s US$24 million investment as part of a larger syndicated facility enabled the national carrier to rapidly expand its operations regionally and internationally and today it is Africa’s largest airline.
Transport has been key to powering one of the fastest rates of economic growth on the continent over the past 15 years. The IMF estimates Ethiopia’s economy will grow by 5.3% in 2023.
The government’s economic reform agenda, initiated in 2019, seeks to build an economic environment supportive of private investment. The policy aligns with Ethiopia joining AFC as this provides the country with access to increased investment allocation, preferred access to AFC’s structuring and lending solutions for sovereign states, reduced debt costs for projects, and access to AFC’s Public Sector Advisory and Project Development facilities.
AFC President and CEO, Samaila Zubairu, said: “We welcome Ethiopia as our 40th member state, a significant milestone for AFC as it underscores our commitment to rapidly industrialise in every corner of the continent by delivering critical infrastructure projects that shift focus away from extraction towards value capture, value retention and job creation. We are committed to working closely with the Ethiopian government and stakeholders to develop and finance integrated ecosystem projects that support the country’s vision for rapid and sustainable economic growth.”
As a member country, Ethiopia facilitates AFC’s investment process by granting privileges and diplomatic immunities in line with the Corporation’s multilateral status. This helps to reduce the cost of debt financing, improves project bankability and allows AFC to mobilize urgently needed global capital for Africa’s economic development.
AFC is committed to elevating Africa’s instrumental role as the most critical engine of global growth. The Corporation has invested US$11.5 billion in transformational infrastructure projects across Africa, recently being awarded “DFI of the Year-Europe & Africa” by IJGlobal, a prominent industry publication for the energy and infrastructure market.