Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), despite the pandemic and commodity-driven headwinds impacting its operating environment, has increased its total assets by 16.3 per cent to a record $8.56 billion.

The Corporation also increased its annual profits by 26.6 per cent to $209.7 million in 2021, passing the $200 million mark for the first time in its 15-year history, from $165.5 million in 2020.

The increase could partly be attributed to investments in high impact assets in targeted sectors across Africa. The Corporation leveraged its investment-grade credit rating and reputation to mobilise finance from international markets to help reduce Africa’s infrastructure deficit.

Speaking on the performance, Samaila Zubairu, President and CEO of AFC said 2021 was a year of solid progress in the Corporation’s core objectives of building value to Africa’s economies through instrumental infrastructure driving growth and job creation.

“We have proven over our 15-year history that you can successfully build a track record in infrastructure investment in Africa—and there has never been a better time to do so,” Zubairu said in a statement by the Corporation.

AFC’s reach on the continent is now larger than it has ever been, with investments expanding to 35 countries and cumulative disbursements rising by 14 per cent to $9.9 billion.

The Corporation increased the Member States by five to 33, with the accession of Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Morocco and Niger.

Among projects during 2021, AFC invested $150 million for the development of cashew and cotton integrated industrial parks in Benin and Togo; provided a $200 million corporate facility to BUA Industries Limited for the construction of a sugar refinery and ethanol plant in Nigeria; and invested $175 million in the Baomahun Gold Project in Sierra Leone.

AFC Capital Partners (ACP) opened as an independent asset management business and launched its first product, the Infrastructure Climate Resilient Fund, with a target to raise $500 million in 12 months and $2 billion over the next three years for investment in robust energy, transport, buildings and other infrastructure.

The past year also saw AFC successfully launch two new products through the Syndications unit – the A/B Bond and Credit Insured B Loans – both of which will significantly deepen the capacity to channel capital from global investment markets into the African continent.

The Corporation continued to diversify funding, with a 21.5 per cent boost to borrowing year-on-year at $6.19 billion. AFC successfully accessed the global debt markets by issuing $1.8 billion in new loans and bonds during the year.

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