Nigerian Businessman Kola Aluko Launches New Fund For African Development At Nasdaq In New York
Leading Nigerian entrepreneur Kola Aluko was joined today by Oscar Winning actor Jamie Foxx and British fashion designer, Ozwald Boateng to mark the launch of a new chapter for African development.
The Made in Africa Foundation (MIAF) which was co-founded by Aluko and Boateng, marked the launch of its historical partnership with the African Development Bank at the NASDAQ in New York this morning, an alliance which will co-manage and market initiatives to attract new investment for Africa50 – Africa’s largest infrastructure development vehicle created to date.
Together with a group which also included Tas Anvaripour, Head of Infrastructure Finance for the African Development Bank, Quintin Primo III, Chairman of the fund’s financial partners, Capri Capital and MIAF CEO Chris Cleverly, Kola Aluko spoke on behalf of the group as a primary investor in the fund and said:
“I am proud to be surrounded today by the people who have shared a determination to create a programme that offers a sustainable future for Africa.
“The ringing of the Nasdaq Bell symbolises that the moment has finally arrived as we launch the Africa 50 Fund supported by the Made in Africa Foundation.
“Our original vision for Made in Africa was to create something that could bring real change for the continent through sustainable, infrastructural developments with a truly African agenda. I believe this monumental relationship we have struck with the African Development bank has created the means for such a vision.
The support we have received for this project is marked by everyone here today. The expertise involved across this project, in both the development and financial arms, will help Africa to finally reach its full potential in the global market.”
The partnership will form the project development arm of Africa50. The two institutions will be supported by the investment expertise of Capri Global Captial – a US-based investment advisory founded by African-American fund manager Quintin E. Primo III. The alliance between MIAF and AfDB aims at raising USD 500 million for Africa50’s project development arm by the first half of 2014.
Co-Founder of MIAF Ozwald Boateng said:
“Africa is a rich continent not a poor one – BUT its wealth is not yet utilised for the benefit of Africans. Africa is moving fast: 7 out of 10 of the world’s fastest economies are in Africa. But the tragedy of the African continent is we export our wealth. Intra-Africa trade, if you look at the sub-Saharan region, is a mere 7 per cent, so as Africans we do not trade amongst ourselves. If you compare the intra-European trade, it’s an excess of 70 per cent, intra-Asia trade is an excess of 55 per cent.
“Clearly as Africans to compete we need the roads and rail, telecommunications and urban environments that stimulate and ensure trade. I am grateful for the support of Kola and our CEO, Chris Cleverly, to bring this initiative with the African Development Bank into reality with the Africa50 (Project Development) Fund”
Jamie Foxx said: “This is a great project and i’m delighted to bew here to support it. Everyone has worked so hard to get this off the grounds and I hope it marks the start of something big for the continent.”
With his expertise and dynamism in the business world, Mr Aluko will spearhead the activities on behalf of Made in Africa alongside the AfDB and Capri Global Capital to develop finance and investment strategies to leverage the continents wealth of potential and create sustainable solutions.
Having closed over 40 large infrastructure private sector projects in the past five years, AfDB strongly supports MIAF’s vision that infrastructure will provide a true future for Africa.
Quintin E. Primo III added:
“Capri Global Capital, along with the AfDB, MIA and Kola Aluko, believe that the promise of Africa is now. The extraordinary growth potential of the continent cannot be truly unlocked until critical infrastructure investments are conceived, championed and delivered. But these projects must not be charity. Rather, they must be commercially viable projects in which investors can responsibly invest. And ideally, they should not only be high impact, but offer attractive risk-adjusted returns.”
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