In response to the Ivory Coast government’s call for the private sector to shoulder more of the burden of services like electricity, telephones, clean water, and transport, the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) explored ways of contributing to the development of the country by mobilising funds for large-scale infrastructure projects and making selected investments in companies that provide essential goods and services.
Azito, the largest private sector power plant in Sub-Saharan Africa, now provides over 40 percent of Côte d'Ivoire's electricity generation capacity.To address a chronic shortage of electricity, AKFED brought together private and public companies – Swiss/Swedish ABB and the French Electricité de France – and AKFED's venture capital arm in West Africa, Industrial Promotion Services, to create the Azito power facility.
Azito, the largest private sector power plant in Sub-Saharan Africa, now provides over 40 percent of Côte d'Ivoire's electricity generation capacity. The 290 MegaWatt project – the largest gas-fired power station in West Africa – was developed on a build-own-transfer basis. It commenced electricity production in March 1999, making use of Côte d'Ivoire's supplies of natural gas.
In the Côte d'Ivoire, AKFED and its partners have invested US$ 225 million in the Azito power generating plant.The financing of this US$ 225 million private infrastructure project was provided by the shareholders and by way of loans from international and bilateral development agencies including International Finance Corporation (IFC), Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), African Development Bank (ADB), Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO), and the German investment and development company (DEG) and commercial banks. The financing benefited from a Partial Risk Guarantee issued by the International Development Association (IDA) the soft-loan arm of The World Bank, the first guarantee of its kind.
The Azito project was AKFED's first investment in the power sector; it was followed by two other energy projects in East and West Africa as well as Central Asia.
Through its Industrial Promotion Services ( West Africa), AKFED has made a number of other investments, including Chimtec s.a. (chemicals); Fibako-Ivoirembal s.a. Bouaké (production of sisal and synthetic cordage, polypropylene cloth and bags); Filtisac Côte d’Ivoire s.a. (jute and polypropylene bags, and other plastic packaging); Ivoire Coton s.a. (cotton ginneries and agricultural extension services) and Sisep s.a.(plastic bottles and jerry cans).
AKDN also operates microfinance activities in the country. For more information about microfinance, please see the Social Development page.
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