Gabon is the latest member country of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), after signing the Corporation’s Instrument of Accession and Acceptance of membership in Libreville this week.
Gabon is the 10th country to join the AFC. Other member states include: Cape Verde, Chad, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra-Leone and The Gambia.
The AFC said limited infrastructure has been constraining Gabon’s recent economic development though the country has an abundance of natural resources; long-established oil, timber and manganese industries, and one of the world’s largest deposits of iron ore.
AFC says it now aims to help address Gabon’s most immediate infrastructure needs, in the transportation, natural resources and power sectors, to among others, assist the country in meeting its full growth potential and in diversifying its GDP and sources of income.
For the AFC, Gabon’s membership would enable it receive preferred creditor status within the country, which would reduce the Corporation’s investment risk and enable it provide more competitive financing solutions.
Overall, the AFC says it has invested over $2.5 billion in projects across 22 African countries and continues to provide funding and project development expertise in a wide range of sectors including power, telecommunications, transport and logistics, natural resources and heavy industries.
Mr. Régis Immongault, Gabon’s Minister of Economy was quoted as saying: “I am delighted to be able to formalise Gabon’s membership of the Africa Finance Corporation, an organisation that is successfully driving growth and development of infrastructure across the continent. The strong track record of the Corporation demonstrates its ability to work with both governments and private sector institutions to deliver innovative financing solutions for projects spanning a large variety of sectors.”
Mr. Andrew Alli, Chief Executive Officer of AFC, welcomed Gabon to the corporation’s membership.
He said: “We at AFC are committed to proactively financing and developing infrastructure where it is most needed. We are excited by the government of Gabon’s commitment to development and to supporting infrastructure investments as a means of achieving this objective. Gabon’s significant natural resources, abundance of land and growing agricultural industry offers huge potential for sustainable growth and diversification, if the adequate supporting infrastructure is in place. We aim to make a significant contribution to this.”
By Emmanuel Odonkor