The Republic of Benin has this week become the 17th Member State of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), Africa’s premier infrastructure development finance institution. The country’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Romuald Wadagni, formally acceded to AFC membership by signing a Letter of Adherence on November 7th, 2017, though the announcement was confirmed three days letter.
Benin, therefore, joins a list of Francophone African States that are currently AFC member countries. These include Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, and Guinea-Conakry.
The Corporation stated that the move bodes well for the peaceful coastal nation, which serves as an economic gateway to several other West African economies. Benin is economically stable, maintaining an average GDP growth rate of 5% over the past five years. The AFC noted that such fundamentals create a natural support system for viable infrastructure investment.
“We are happy to welcome the Republic of Benin to the membership of AFC. Benin is strategically located,” commented Andrew Alli, President and CEO of AFC.
“Through this partnership, we believe that Benin will be able to realise its full potential as an important corridor for economic activities in West Africa. With the right infrastructure; taking into consideration regional economic flows, the country is well positioned to significantly service all its neighbouring countries. As a member of AFC, Benin will have access to AFC’s technical expertise and financial resources in the development, financing and execution of infrastructure projects in the Transportation, Power, Telecommunications, Natural Resources, and Heavy Industries sectors,” he continued.
“We are excited at the prospects of partnering with AFC to drive infrastructure development in Benin and across West Africa. As is well known, investments in infrastructure are directly linked to economic development. Our membership in AFC bodes well for the country and the entire West African region,” Wadagni reiterated.
The AFC, an investment grade multilateral finance institution, was established in 2007 with an equity capital base of $1 billion, to be the catalyst for private sector-led infrastructure investment across Africa.
With a current balance sheet size of approximately $3.5 billion, the AFC is the second highest investment grade rated multilateral financial institution in Africa