Standard Bank of South Africa (SBSA), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) – the US Government’s development finance institution, and Wells Fargo Bank announced a $300 million facility to fund power and infrastructure projects in Africa.
The 12-year funding line for Standard Bank, the largest African banking group by assets, was signed on the side lines of the US-Africa Business Forum in New York City. SBSA will provide $33 million from its balance sheet to support transactions financed by the facility.
At least $150 million of the facility will support power transactions as part of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, with up to $100 million available for other strategic infrastructure projects beyond the power sector.
Says Sim Tshabalala, Standard Bank Group Chief Executive: “Power and infrastructure play a crucial role in the economic development of Africa. We are delighted to be part of such an important initiative and look forward to working with OPIC and Wells Fargo to promote sustainable economic growth and to make a real difference to the lives of the people of Africa. Standard Bank has the experience, knowledge and presence in Africa to make this project a resounding success.”
“OPIC is excited to collaborate on an initiative that will have a long-lasting impact on the lives of millions throughout Africa,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC President and CEO. “By supporting both infrastructure and power projects, this forward-thinking loan facility brings badly-needed capital to the table and will pave the way for future development in Africa to take root and grow.”
“Wells Fargo is pleased to sponsor this landmark facility for The Standard Bank of South Africa, which will utilize proceeds to finance renewable energy projects in low income, IDA-eligible countries in Africa, where such infrastructure is key to promoting environmentally sustainable development. Wells Fargo is proud to have worked in close partnership with OPIC to arrange and co-lend in support of this project”, said Chuck Silverman, Executive Vice President and Head of Wells Fargo’s Global Financial Institutions Group.
Meanwhile there is an exciting line up of policy makers and business leaders from West Africa and China who are scheduled to address delegates attending the Standard Bank West Africa Trans-regional Conference in Accra in Ghana next month.
The conference is the second inter-Africa trade and business conference to be hosted by Standard Bank in 2016. Keynote speakers include Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Ghana’s Minister of Trade and Industry and one of Africa’s pre-eminent public servants and an authority on mass communication; Dr. Wenbin Wang, CEO of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Africa and Non-executive Director of Standard Bank Group; and Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council.
Mr. Vish Ashiagbor, Senior Partner and Head of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Ghana will present a synopsis on the regulatory, business and economic environment in the West Africa region.
Mr Hervé Boyer, Chief Executive of Stanbic Bank Côte d’Ivoire, will lead a discussion on the economy of Côte d’Ivoire, market opportunities and challenges faced by commercial businesses. The chief executives of Standard Bank’s operations in Nigeria, Ghana and Angola will lead similar discussions on their respective markets.
Delegates will also hear from Nigerian jurist and academic Dr. Olajumoke Omoniyi Oduwole, Senior Special Assistant on Trade and Investment to the President of Nigeria, as well as Ghanaian business entrepreneur Mr. Michael Adubofour, MD and founder of Mike Adu Company Ltd.
Standard Bank (also trading as Stanbic Bank) says the strong line-up of speakers underscores the significance of West Africa as an investment destination, and the need for business and government leaders across the continent to network and explore opportunities and partnerships for growth.
Scheduled to take place on October 3 – 5, the West Africa conference is aimed at Standard Bank commercial banking clients from across sub-Saharan Africa who are interested in expanding their operations or partnering with businesses in the West Africa region across a range of sectors such as retail, infrastructure, agriculture, construction, manufacturing and information technology.
It will draw delegates from Ghana, Nigeria, Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, China, South Africa as well as clients from southern and eastern Africa.