AIX: Power and Renewables

New industry group AfIDA launches

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img_20161121The Africa Infrastructure Development Association (AfIDA), whose creation has been driven by a group of industry heavyweights headed by the Lagos-based Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), was formally launched at the Africa Investment Exchange: Power and Renewables meeting in London on 21 November.

AFC chief executive Andrew Alli said the initiative was intended to fill a gap by providing a forum for developers and investors to engage constructively, rather than competitively, in tackling critical issues that are holding back private infrastructure provision in Africa. Open to developers of any size, it will work with key stakeholders including governments and utilities by providing training and other services, by “increasing levels of transparency” and giving the industry a greater voice in its dealing with governments and other interest groups.

AFC executive director and chief investment officer Oliver Andrews – an AfIDA founding board member – sees the association as a mechanism to build trust between governments and private developers, who too many African politicians still think are there only to exploit them, rather than promoting long-term development.

Alli said that while power projects had provided an initial focus, AfIDA’s all-embracing outlook would include companies investing in transport, industry, agriculture, healthcare and other sectors. AfIDA intends to “champion effective change in the industry by connecting members with training, detailed market research and networking opportunities”. It will “seek to shape policies and the delivery of projects by advocacy, benchmarking and stakeholder engagement”. 
Paul Biggs, a founding partner of law firm Trinity International, said he hoped AfIDA would provide a forum to resolve key industry issues – for example, what is an appropriate developer fee – and around the standardisation of power purchase agreements. It could also provide a vehicle for government departments, parastatals and other stakeholders to learn from each other, and for the industry to lobby governments on critical issues such as the level of sovereign guarantees they can make available for projects.

With a constitution drawn up by Trinity, AfIDA is structured as a not-for-profit body incorporated in Mauritius, with an advisory council providing broad strategic guidance and a secretariat, now being established, to implement operations. With early support from the Netherlands’ FMO, AfIDA’s pioneer members also include African Infrastructure Investment Managers, Blackstone Group-backed infrastructure investment company BlackRhino, FMO/Phoenix InfraWorks’ Climate Investor One, Germany’s DEG, UK-based developer eleQtra, Johannesburg-based private equity investor Harith’s Climate Investment One, the International Finance Corporation, InfraCo Africa and The Abraaj Group’s power development subsidiary Themis Energy.

Learn more about AfIDA

Panellists at AIX Power and Renewables examine different off-grid models emerging across Africa

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Everyone put on virtual reality headsets to see Mobisol’s solar applications at work in Tanzania during the off-grid energy afternoon at our AIX Power & Renewables meeting on 22 November 2016. It provided a break from the usual no technology-allowed debate, during discussions of how ‘insurgent’ off-grid activists and conventional developers and DFIs were edging closer together.

Oti Ikomi, CEO and Executive Vice-Chairman, Proton Energy

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Ikomi.jpgOti is the founder, CEO and Executive Vice-Chairman of Proton Energy. He is a Business Leader and Infrastructure Developer.

Proton Energy is a leading Nigerian based Independent Power Plant (IPP) developer with a focus to develop and operate power plants across Nigeria and subsequently in Sub Saharan Africa. Proton Energy is sponsoring the development of three new gas powered power plants in support of the development of the Nigeria power sector and to assist in meeting the growing energy needs of the citizens of Nigeria. Target installed new power generation in the next five years is an installed capacity of 1,500 MW.

Oti has a record of performance and experience covering over 30 African countries. He additionally has Board Chairmanship positions of companies in Retail and IT. He was the founding CEO of Keystone Bank, with senior executive positions at Citibank, Standard Bank of South Africa and Ecobank Transnational Inc. Earlier experience with Eastman Kodak,USA and Unilever. He has a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from State University of New York and is a member of Tau Beta Pi – American National Engineering Honor Society and Omega Rho – International Operations Research Honor Society.

Panellist at the Africa Investment Exchange: Gas meeting at RSA House, London on 5-6 April.

 

AIX: Power and Renewables panellist – Andrew Alli, President & Chief Executive Officer, Africa Finance Corporation

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Alli.pngAndrew is responsible for AFC’s overall strategy and operations. Under Andrew’s leadership AFC’s executive management has undertaken more than $4.6bn in investments across Africa, financing high impact projects like a West African submarine cable, a commercial wind farm in Cape Verde, a toll road in South Africa, a greenfield power plant in Ghana and a flagship road infrastructure project in Côte d’Ivoire.

Prior to working at AFC, Andrew was a Partner and co-founder of Travant Capital, a West Africa-focused private equity fund. He previously served as country head for Southern Africa at the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Andrew joined IFC in Washington as an investment officer working first in the oil, gas and mining department and then later in the telecommunications department. In 2002, he was appointed IFC’s country manager for Nigeria. He assumed responsibility for South Africa and seven other countries in 2006.

Andrew holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Kings College, University of London, an MBA from INSEAD, France and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers) in the UK.

Panellist at the Africa Investment Exchange: Power & Renewables meeting, 21-22 November 2016, London

AIX: Power and Renewables panellist – Gad Cohen, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, eleQtra

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Cohen.pngGad has over 20 years of professional experience in the development and financing of infrastructure projects in the power and transportation sectors. Prior to co-founding eleQtra, he was head of the global power group at ABB Equity Ventures, the development and equity investment arm of ABB Ltd, where he was responsible for the development and investment in power generation projects worldwide. Gad began career as an attorney at White & Case, where he advised financial institutions and project sponsors in connection with infrastructure financings worldwide. He is a graduate of McGill University, where he received his law degree.

Panellist at the Africa Investment Exchange: Power & Renewables meeting, 21-22 November 2016, London

AIX: Power and Renewables panellist – Paolo de Michelis, Head of Renewables, Globeleq

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deMichelis.pngPaolo has over 20 years’ experience in renewable energy, project finance, private equity and emerging markets. He has worked with Globeleq since 2010 and currently heads the company’s renewable energies business in Africa. During his career Paolo has led the origination, structuring and financial closing of multiple projects, including 238MW of wind and solar PV projects in South Africa, which were among the first such projects built on the continent. Other roles include founder of Renewable Energy Capital, Senior Investment Manager at Platina Partners and Vice President with Citigroup’s project and structured trade finance team. Paolo holds a degree in Economics from La Sapienza University in Rome and a MBA from London Business School. He is fluent in Italian, French and English.

Panellist at the Africa Investment Exchange: Power & Renewables meeting, 21-22 November 2016, London

AIX: Power and Renewables panellist – Sam Hoexter, Regional Head for Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and India, International Business Development, UK Export Finance

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Hoexter.pngSam Hoexter joined the international business development team of UK Export Finance in September 2015. With a background in energy and infrastructure he has worked in banking, private equity and law.  He has held roles in loan origination at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and principal investment at AgDevCo, a UK Government-backed fund.  He has worked across the Middle East, Africa, India and Brazil.

Sam originally trained as a lawyer at the international law firm Freshfields, advising sponsors and banks on large-scale infrastructure projects.

Panellist at the Africa Investment Exchange: Power & Renewables meeting, 21-22 November 2016, London.