STANDARD Bank of South Africa (SBSA), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US government’s development finance institution, and Wells Fargo Bank have 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.
‘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,’ says Sim Tshabalala, Standard Bank Group chief executive
‘OPIC is excited to collaborate on an initiative that will have a long-lasting impact on the lives of millions throughout Africa,’ Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC president and CEO added. ‘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.’
Chuck Silverman, executive vice-president and head of Wells Fargo’s Global Financial Institutions Group, also said, ‘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.’