(Bloomberg) — Africa50, a Morocco-based investment platform, seeks to raise $500 million in the first close of its Infrastructure Acceleration Fund that will invest in energy, transportation, telecommunication and water projects.
The platform started more than a decade ago by the African Development Bank and African governments aims to help bridge the continent’s infrastructure financing gap estimated by the AfDB to be at $68 billion to $108 billion.
“With the fund, we are positioning the Africa50 Group to play a lead role in helping to tap into the more than $98 trillion of global assets under management,”AfDB’s President Akinwumi Adesina said in a statement from Africa50.
The infrastructure private equity fund, which is expected to close in coming months, has so far received pledges from the International Finance Corp. and 18 institutional investors on the continent, Africa50 said in response to emailed questions.
They include Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, West African Development Bank, CDC Sénégal, CDC Benin, CNSS Togo, CDG Invest and Attijariwafa Bank of Morocco, it said.
“Securing commitments from such prominent African institutional investors marks the beginning of a new era of collaboration and investment in Africa’s infrastructure sector,” Chief Executive Officer Alain Ebobissé of Africa50 said in the statement.
The Infrastructure Acceleration Fund will seek to invest in bankable projects and assets through equity and quasi-equity investments as it aims to provide attractive risk-adjusted returns for investors.