Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), the leading infrastructure development finance institution in Africa, has this week announced its successful acquisition of a loan facility from the Export-Import Bank of China (CEXIM). The $200 million 5-year loan and a $100 million 5-year stand-by facility, will be used for general corporate purposes.
The facility from CEXIM marks AFC’s inaugural financing facility from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This follows the Corporation’s strategic focus to build a broad coalition of investors by diversifying its fundraising activities to include all sources of institutional capital in East Asia, in addition to its existing partners in Europe & North America.
“Apart from the medium-term liquidity that the proposed facility will provide, it will also further provide contingent funding support which is particularly important for liquidity risk management as well as opening up other financing and relationships with Chinese entities (both state-owned and private),” AFC said in a statement issued this week.
The signing of the facility agreement will also mark the first step into what will be a long and beneficial relationship with CEXIM, including AFC’s support to CEXIM’s Africa strategy, looking at their portfolio of assets and advising them on how to optimise its loan book on the continent.
“In the last two decades, China has grown from a relatively small investor, to becoming one of Africa’s largest trading partners today,” Samaila Zubairu, President and CEO at AFC, commented.
Zubairu explained that the facility is therefore not only a milestone for the Corporation and its strategy for the Far East, but also marks a natural evolution in the growing financial sophistication of China in Africa.
AFC has described the loan as a necessary development required to accelerate Africa’s journey towards closing the infrastructure deficit.
“Moreover, AFC welcomes CEXIM’s commitment towards its Africa strategy, and we look forward to lending our expertise on how best to deliver sustainable infrastructure investment that should catalyse industrial growth on the continent,” Zubairu concluded.