Andrew Alli, the immediate past president and chief executive officer of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) has said his biggest milestone achieved during his terms at the corporation was getting it to rank as the second highest rated financial institution on the continent after the African Development Bank.
Alli disclosed this in a monitored television interview with CNBC Africa following a closing gong ceremony held in commemoration of his retirement from the corporation at the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
According to Alli, the AFC a few years ago was given an A3 credit rating by Moody’s. “This is notable for a few things; firstly, what goes into a rating is an assessment of things like the governance of the organisation, its financial strength, its strategy, the execution of that strategy. So in a way, it is sort of an external validation of a lot of the things that we have been doing,” he said.
The credit rating, according to Alli was also important because it opened up access to different financial markets.
“AFC has been able to issue two benchmark size euro bonds which were very well priced. The last one we did last year, raised $500 million for seven years at four percent coupon. It’s also given us access to finance from other sources, like the Swiss franc bond we did in the Swiss market a few years ago,” Alli said.
According to him, the corporation has been able to fund its infrastructure projects around the continent with all the monies raised.
“So it’s not just a vanity measure it’s a real practical measure that I think shows everything we have been able to achieve,” he explained.
Speaking on notable achievements in the years of the AFC’s existence, Alli said, “In ten years we have been able to do investment in about 30 different countries across Africa, the cooperation itself has invested probably about $5 billion and we have been able to mobilise investment between $10 and $15 billion in that period.”
He stated that the AFC’s balance sheet has grown to about $4 billion and apart from declaring profit every year, the corporation has also returned about $300 million in dividends to shareholders.
“Most importantly, we have been able to do some projects which have had real impacts on the life of people because ultimately the AFC is a development financing institution,” he said.