11 December 2008 – A US$ 30 million equity investment in the African Energy Infrastructure Fund (AEIF), the first Pan-African private equity fund to focus on investing in power and energy projects, has been approved by the Board of the African Development Bank. This brings to 15 the total number of private sector equity investments the bank has undertaken since 1997 with a combined value of US$380 million.
AEIF, which will be based in Mauritius, is a proposed US$500 million private equity fund with US$150 million scheduled first closing, managed by Prescient Fieldstone Investment Management, a joint venture between Prescient and Fieldstone Africa.
According to Tim Turner, AfDB private sector department director, "AEIF is really long overdue as Africa is already experiencing debilitating power shortage from Egypt to South Africa. By investing in such a Fund, the Bank will help to meet the need for secure and reliable energy while complying with the highest environmental and social standards."
The first fund investment by the Bank which focuses solely on energy infrastructure, AEIF’s pipeline of projects “shows high commercial viability and augurs positively for long-term financial sustainability”. Factors taken into consideration will include environmental impact and overall poverty reduction impact.
"The AEIF aims to be the partner investor of choice for developers and owners of energy infrastructure projects in Africa.. As a result we believe that the Fund will enhance local African financial markets through the creation of a vehicle that efficiently mobilizes domestic and regional pension and insurance funds for investment in power and energy infrastructure, says Jonathan Berman, MD of Prescient Fieldstone Investment Management.