African Finance Corporation Commits $700m to Natural Resources Development Across the Continent

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The African Finance Corporation (AFC) says it is making available about $700 million for the development of the natural resources sector of the continent.

Its Vice President, Investment, Begna Gebreyes, said this last week whilst in Ghana to participate in the 9th West and Central Africa (WACA) Mining Conference and Exhibitions.

According to the AFC, most of the infrastructure needed by resource extraction firms is beneficial to the socio-economic development of African countries, hence the need to inject much-needed resources to drive investments into the natural resource sector with a view to inspiring a holistic development of the continent.

Although a majority of AFC’s investments go into oil and gas, he said the last three years have seen a shifted focus onto solid minerals to ensure that its networks enterprise and expertise became more beneficial to the continent.

“If we are looking at the overall Natural Resources Portfolio, I would say it is more than 600 million dollars or about 700 million dollars. But a majority of that is into oil and gas. One of the reasons we started shifting focus into doing solid minerals about three years ago is that we want to diversify some of our natural resources portfolio,” he said.

The finance company, which started in Nigeria in 2007, with the Nigerian central bank holding 42 percent of the shares, also has interests in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Mali, Guinea, Eretria, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Africa, among others.

By adding investments into solid minerals to its business, AFC seeks to see a transformational approach to mining in Africa in the next two to three years.

On world market prices for metals, he stated: “What we see is a real stabilization in demand, and return to growth, return of confidence, willingness to invest and even exuberance, especially in some commodities, whether zinc, copper or to some extent in gold and precious metals.”

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