Africa Finance Corporation, the multilateral finance institution, is backing the Gabon Special Economic Zone, a joint venture vehicle of agricultural firm Olam International and the Government of Gabon, with up to $140 million. AFC’s investment will support the portfolio of infrastructure projects being developed by the venture, including a new mineral terminal, a general logistics terminal and a number of additional infrastructure projects.
Commenting on the planned investment, AFC’s President & CEO, Andrew Alli said “We are delighted to be able to build on our well-established partnerships with the Republic of Gabon and with Olam by making this investment, which will help to accelerate the development of these infrastructure assets and diversify the economy of Gabon.” He continued “Gabon has the benefit of an abundance of land as well as enviable natural resources, with long established oil, timber and mining industries, and some of the world’s largest deposits of manganese and iron ore. There is huge potential for sustainable growth if the adequate supporting infrastructure is in place and AFC intends to help Gabon meet this potential, however we can.””
Olam International has been at the forefront in the development of the GSEZ projects in line with the Gabonese republic’s “Emergent Gabon Strategy”, which seeks to reduce the country’s reliance on crude oil and diversify into other sectors. Olam began operations in Gabon in 1999 and is now developing multiple agro-industrial and infrastructure projects in the country, with the Gabonese Republic as a joint venture partner.
AFC was established in 2007. To date the Corporation has invested US$3.2 billion in projects across 22 African countries and in a wide range of sectors including power, telecommunications, transport and logistics, natural resources and heavy industries.