Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), one of the region’s biggest investors in infrastructure development, announced Thursday, that it has exceeded 30 member states, representing more than half the continent.

Membership by Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo and Morocco, all in the first quarter of 2021, brings the total number of AFC member states to 31, an increase from 26 members a year ago, AFC said in a press release.

“This is a landmark achievement for AFC as we continue to expand our footprint across the continent,” said Samaila Zubairu, President & CEO of AFC.

“It is my pleasure to welcome the Republic of Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Kingdom of Morocco as member countries of AFC. With this expanded membership and our technical expertise, we are empowered to deliver critical infrastructure with a greater focus on energy, renewables and digital infrastructure rebuilding a more resilient and sustainable economy post-COVID-19,” he added.

Speaking on Morocco’s membership, Minister of Economy, Finance and Administration Reform, Mohamed Benchaaboun, said: “The Kingdom of Morocco is pleased to accede to membership of AFC at such a critical time. We look forward to completing the legal ratification procedures as soon as possible, so that we can leverage on the many membership benefits of AFC, including its robust network, as we further our agenda to seek more strategic partnerships in sub-Saharan Africa”.

With a mission of bridging Africa’s infrastructure gap, AFC has invested over $8.7 billion in 35 countries across Africa, utilising its unique access to global capital markets to drive development, integrate the continent’s economies, and transform lives.

Member countries enjoy significant benefits including increased investment allocation, preferred access to AFC’s structuring and lending solutions for sovereign states, reduced debt costs for projects, and access to the Corporation’s Public Sector Advisory and Project Development facilities. These interventions aim to help member states address critical infrastructure gaps across AFC’s core sectors of power, transportation, natural resources, telecommunications, and heavy industry.

In return, member governments facilitate AFC’s investment process by granting privileges and diplomatic immunities commensurate with the Corporation’s multilateral status. This helps to reduce the cost of debt financing and improve bankability of projects, while allowing the Corporation to mobilize global funding for the continent’s economic development.

AFC was established in 2007 as a catalyst for private sector-led infrastructure investment across Africa. It is the second highest investment grade rated multilateral financial institution in Africa.