Rwanda and Uganda have become the first countries in the region to join the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), a development finance institution that funds infrastructure projects in Africa.
Matia Kasaija, the minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, said it was government’s intention to work with different investment institutions for the development of the country.
“AFC is bringing innovation to the development and financing of infrastructure on the continent. This is in line with the EAC's strategy of ensuring that partner states' provide basic infrastructure ; so, we are looking forward to stronger presence of AFC in the region and particularly in Uganda,” Kasaija said.
In a recent press statement, Kasaija also added that Uganda's partnership with AFC will go a long way in helping the government to attain the Vision 2040 strategy of transforming Uganda from a peasant to a modern economy within 30 years.
Andrew Alli, the chief executive officer, said improving infrastructure of the fast-emerging East African economies would further facilitate intraregional trade links, a goal that can only be achieved if adequate transport and telecommunications networks and power supply are in place.
"Lack of essential infrastructure remains a critical constraint across Africa; for example, over 620 million people do not have access to reliable electricity. AFC is progressively aligning its country membership with its operational footprint, consistent with a carefully-designed membership expansion strategy to see our members benefit from the capital we have,” he said.
Alli explained that AFC works closely with both public and private institutions to develop innovative financing solutions for large-scale infrastructure projects in Africa, and oversees the whole project cycle, from concept to completion.
AFC is an investment multilateral finance institution that was established in 2007 with an equity capital base of $1 bn, and whose aim is to help public and private sectors invest in infrastructure development across Africa.
Rwanda, which signed the corporation's instrument of accession and acceptance of membership early last month, brought the total number of members to 13. Alli noted that the entry of new members marks a significant milestone in AFC's mission to address Africa's pressing infrastructure needs.
To date, the corporation has invested $2.6bn in projects across 24 African countries.
“The government, for example, plans to implement an $11bn program over the next ten years...” Kasaija said.