Scaling up InfraCo Africa’s success
20th Mar 2019 || By Peter Hutchinson
I have recently taken over as InfraCo Africa’s CEO and it is an extremely exciting time to be leading the company. We are delighted to be entering a new phase of our development as a business and as part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG).
With the announcement of significant further funding from our Owners, DFID, DGIS and SECO, and the recent launch of PIDG’s new strategy, we are well positioned to deliver on our ambitious new vision 2023. InfraCo Africa is currently active in 18 projects; our new vision seeks to substantially scale-up our pipeline in sub-Saharan Africa, doubling the commitment we make to projects.
We pride ourselves on our ability to mobilise private sector expertise and finance to deliver transformational infrastructure projects. Projects which alleviate poverty and promote inclusive economic development. This approach will remain at the heart of our business model.
62% of the projects we currently have under development are located in fragile or conflict affected states and, as we grow, our new strategy will see us continue to prioritise high-quality infrastructure development in the world’s poorer countries and fragile states. InfraCo Africa will continue to deliver replicable projects which reflect our commitment to environmental, social, health and safety and anti-bribery and corruption best practice.
Working together with our co-development partners and contracted developer teams, we will see our current project portfolio through to construction and operations; sustaining an interest beyond financial close where this is required.
But we know that we can do more.
InfraCo Africa currently has over 700MW of renewable energy under development. We intend to build on our deep in-house power capability to expand the frontiers of renewable energy – exploring innovative mini-grid and storage technologies with potential to scale. Delivering clean power to more people, more quickly. We are proud to be leading in this increasingly important area: a recent poll of African developers saw 34% highlight energy storage as key part of their short-term investment strategy.[i]
In collaboration with our private sector partners, we will expand our presence in the transport and water sectors; building on expertise gained through our Kalangala Infrastructure Services and Lake Victoria Marine Transport initiatives and will explore opportunities to further diversify our pipeline in the future.
We are also committed to exploring new ways to maximise the developmental impact of our projects. To date, this work has included creating employment and seeking opportunities to integrate delivery of water supply, sanitation, irrigation and other initiatives as part of our larger power and transport ventures. We will continue to champion the views of people living in the communities in which we work; designing our development-focused initiatives to deliver inclusive and lasting impact.
As part of PIDG, we are uniquely positioned to draw on the expertise and finance of our sister companies to overcome obstacles throughout the project development cycle. The new PIDG strategy empowers us to work more closely with TAF, DevCo, InfraCo Asia, GuarantCo and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, collaborating to provide solutions in challenging markets. We are already working with GuarantCo to explore innovative local currency finance options for our projects in East Africa.
Personally, I am excited to be starting 2019 with a mandate from our Owners to do more. To achieve it, we will need the right people – employees and project partners – and the right projects.
Let’s work together!
Harnessing the power of waterfalls
The Western Power Company will develop a 180MW run-of-river hydropower plant in Zambia’s Western Province: harnessing the untapped potential of the Zambezi River’s waterfalls to deliver clean, sustainable power. The project will not only provide power to the national grid, helping to alleviate economically crippling power deficits, but also directly and positively impact families living in the surrounding area through a pioneering benefit-sharing programme.