COMESA to raise US$1 billion for infrastructure fund

Infrastructure_fundThe Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has announced its intentions to raise US$1 billion for infrastructure development projects across the region

Through its Infrastructure Fund, COMESA will attempt to resolve many of the infrastructure challenges that have beset the region and contributed towards increases in business costs.

The Regional Economic Community (REC) has signed contracts with financial and legal advisors to help raise the funds for the Infrastructure Fund, which is based in Mauritius.

Price Waterhouse Coopers has been appointed the fund’s lead financial advisors, while SNR Denton has been named its legal advisors. Deloitte will take responsibility for the reporting accounts of the fundraising team.

“COMESA plans to raise a minimum $1 billion committed equity capital contribution, to be complemented with a proportionate subordinated debt offer depending on the off-take for the equity offer,” said COMESA secretary general Sindiso Ngwenya.

The fund was established with a view to address the pressing infrastructure challenges the region has faced, which have impeded economic growth.

The Infrastructure Fund will raise capital for investment in trade-related projects in the region with the money raised consisting of a mix of public and private investor funds.

“The fund will aim to enhance co-operation among member states to improve the efficiency and competiveness of their markets by upgrading the supply of domestic and regional infrastructure services,” added Ngwenya.

“This will help in the diversification of production and distribution capacities with a view to promoting economic growth, wealth creation and poverty reduction.”

COMESA, whose member states include the likes of Burundi, DR Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Uganda and Zimbabwe, was established in 1981 as the Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern Africa (PTA), and became COMESA in 1994.

Nawa Mutumweno

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