IFC Recognized for Efforts to Help Clients Seize African Power Opportunities

IFC took center stage in Dubai at the Africa Energy Forum, the continent’s premier annual power industry conference held in June. 

In addition to strengthening relationships with dozens of prospective and existing clients, IFC was recognized at Forum for leadership in developing power projects in Africa with the “Kick Off Award for Development Finance” from EnergyNet, the event’s organizer.

At a pre-event workshop organized by the IFC global industry and regional departments, Infrastructure and Natural Resources Director Bernie Sheahan told prospective investors from the Middle East and North Africa that there are many more opportunities in Africa than just five years ago, but long-term investors need to be prepared to confront significant challenges in markets that are new to large-scale private infrastructure investment. Investors must understand the local context and ensure they have the right partners with sector expertise, he told them. 

“The key limitation for the development of more power projects in Africa is not financial capital, but rather human capital” said Bertrand de la Borde, IFC head of Africa infrastructure. “There is demand for power generation across the board, from gas-to-power to renewable energy, and more openness from governments to involve the private sector. Still, developing projects requires a long-term view, a substantial appetite for risks, and a great deal of expertise. This year’s Forum has been the perfect platform to confirm for clients that IFC can bring all these skills to our partnerships.”

The IFC delegation met with more than 40 clients, investors and partners, and demonstrated expertise as panelists and moderators at six speaking events on topics including power generation and distribution, project development and private equity investing. IFC hosted a client networking dinner, attended industry leaders that included senior executives from Engie, Nareva, Abengoa, Mainstream, Nareva and Metito. IFC was able to connect several client companies and help them identify new, joint business opportunities.

For more information contact Laura MacInnis, lmacinnis@ifc.org.

First Published: 06/24/2015

Updated: 8/20/2015