The latest on financing for the latest iteration of the Rift Valley Railroad, from “African Capital Markets News”: a mix of public and well-connected private entities will have various debt and equity investments going forward:
The International Finance Corporation (www.ifc.org) and 6 leading international finance institutions provided $164 million in financing to Rift Valley Railways International (www.riftvalleyrailways.com) to rehabilitate the Kenya-Uganda railway today (2 August). The aim is to boost cross-border trade and investment in East Africa. Other key shareholders are Kenya’s TransCentury, which listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange on 14 July, and Uganda’s Bomi Holdings Ltd, reportedly owned by Charles Mbire. The financing is part of a $287m capital expenditure programme to improve the operating company’s infrastructure and rolling stock.
Other institutions participating in the package include: African Development Bank ($40m), Germany’s KfW Bankengruppe ($32m), Dutch Development Bank FMO ($20m), Kenya’s Equity Bank ($20m), Cordiant’s Infrastructure Crisis Fund ($20m) and the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries ($10m). The balance of the funding for the $287 million capital expenditure programme is being contributed by shareholders and generated through operations.
IFC is the largest financier to Rift Valley Railways and provides a $32m loan, of which $10m is already disbursed, and an additional $10m in equity to be committed. RVRI is a portfolio company of Citadel Capital, an Egypt-based private equity firm with $8.7 billion in investments across 14 countries in Africa.
We can certainly hope that this combination of interests and expertise will get the job done this time.
Such bonanzas — opportunities in troubled places with huge needs — are increasingly being sought out by a fast-growing group: Africans who have returned home after years of living, working and studying in the West. Though still a small subculture, African executives who have abandoned high-flying careers on Wall Street, in the City of London and in other financial hubs are becoming a force across the continent, their impact far outstripping their numbers. By moving home, they and others are bucking the trend of generations of Africans who headed west in search of brighter prospects, better education and decent jobs — and stayed abroad for good. Millions of African families have been kept afloat for decades by remittances from relatives working abroad as everything from street cleaners to physicians. Now with economic prospects and, in some cases, political stability improving in Africa while both are declining in the West, some of those relatives have concluded they are better off back home. “There is a momentum among young, upwardly mobile people to come home,” says Rolake Akinola, a Nigerian business analyst with years of work experience in London. “We call ourselves the Repatriate Generation.”
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