Following a competitive tender process that brought interest from over 30 companies, from across Europe, Africa and North America, the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund Limited (EAIF) has appointed Investec Asset Management (IAM) as its US$670 million fund manager.
The fund is a member of the Private Infrastructure Development Group, and is funded by the governments of the UK, The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland, private sector banks and development finance organizations.
Established in 2002, it provides debt finance to private sector infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa. To date, it has committed over US$1.2 billion to 63 projects in 20 countries.
The fund aims to achieve three main objectives:
IAM, launched in South Africa in 1991, will manage the entire process for EAIF, from seeking out projects, evaluating loan applications, carrying out due diligence and managing the administration of transactions. It will also market the fund internationally and monitor the loan portfolio.
David White, Chair of EAIF, Commenting on IAM’s appointment, said:
“We were impressed with IAM’s determination and agility, its commitment to our core mission and its belief in a successful future for Africa. The appointment of IAM as the fund’s manager means that we now have the final element in place to power our growth strategy. Africa is Investec’s home territory. From African roots it has built a dynamic business and a demonstrable track record as a good corporate citizen. “
Hendrik du Toit, CEO, Investec Asset Management, explained:
“The private sector has a crucial role to play in unlocking the conditions for the sustainable, long-term development of Africa’s infrastructure. A major initiative of its kind globally, EAIF provides growth capital, expertise and support to projects, with the aim of stimulating economic development, encouraging growth and employment, and fueling Africa’s long-term development.”
Nazmeera Moola, Co-Head of Africa Fixed Income at Investec Asset Management, who will head EAIF operations, added:
“The large demand for funding on the continent and the necessity for effective infrastructure development provides a strong investment backdrop. This offers a compelling entry point into the long-term African growth story. We are very well positioned to take advantage of these opportunities with our extensive experience of investing in emerging markets, underpinned by our heritage, which gives us deep insight into the drivers of African markets.”