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Africa Finance Corporation Appoints New Chairman and Announces Changes to its Board

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The Africa Finance Corporation has announced the appointment of Dr. Kinglsey Obiora as its new Chairman in addition to the appointments of Ms. Soula Proxenos as an Independent Non-Executive Director and Henry Oroh and Mr. Batchi Baldeh as Non-Executive Directors.

Dr Obiora is a distinguished economist who also currently serves as Deputy Governor (Economic Policy) of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Dr Obiora brings 17 years of banking and financial services experience. He has advised three Nigerian Presidents on economic policy, as well as a Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He also held the position of Alternate Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund (“IMF”) in Washington, DC, USA, where he assisted to represent the interests of 23 African countries, and was a member of the Executive Board collectively responsible for the IMF’s daily operations.

Dr. Obiora holds a doctorate in Monetary & International Economics, and completed a semester course at Doctorate level in Econometrics, from the University Ibadan, Nigeria and the George Washington University, USA respectively.

Dr. Obiora replaces Dr. Joseph Nnanna, who following three years of distinguished service to the Corporation, retires from AFC’s Board of Directors.

Dr Kingsley Obiora

The AFC’s board also announced the following appointments:

Soula Proxenos

Ms. Soula Proxenos joins the Corporation as an Independent Non-Executive Director. She was previously Managing Director of International Housing Solutions, the South African real estate fund manager focused on affordable housing. She holds several Independent Non-Executive Directorships and is an Adjunct Lecturer at John Hopkins SAIS and the Carey Business School

Ms. Proxenos was also Managing Director at the US’s Fannie Mae’s International Housing Financial Services as well as having had responsibility for transforming Old Mutual’s business prior and during South Africa’s political transformation. She brings more than 30 years of financial services experience and holds an MBA from Stellenbosch as well as a BA from Witwatersrand University.

Henry Oroh

Mr. Henry Oroh joins the corporation as a Non-Executive Director representing Zenith Bank International Plc, where he also holds the position of Executive Director. Mr. Oroh has two decades of international banking experience, including having previously served as Managing Director & CEO of Zenith Bank Ghana, as well as having spent seven years with Citibank in Operations, Treasury and Marketing.

A chartered accountant, Mr. Oroh holds an LLB from the University of London, a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Benin and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Nigeria. He also holds MBA from the Lagos State University.

Batchi Baldeh

Mr. Batchi Baldeh joins the Corporation as Non-Executive Director representing the African Development Bank following its recent equity subscription in the AFC. An investment banker, infrastructure developer and utility management specialist, Mr. Baldeh brings 33 years of experience, including his current position as Director, Power Systems Development at the African Development Bank. He is also an alumni of AFC, where he served as Director, Power Business, Investments Division, and has also advised several African governments, the World Bank Group, the European Union, and other public and private organisations.

Mr. Baldeh holds a BSc (Hons) in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from Newcastle-upon-Tyne University, UK and is a member of the Institute of Engineering & Technology, UK, as well as a fellow of the Institute of Directors, Southern Africa. He also holds MBA from Boston University, USA.

Samaila Zubairu, President & CEO of AFC, commented on the announcement: “On behalf of the AFC Board, I welcome Dr. Obiora as Chairman. His experience, having had worked with governments and multilateral finance institutions in a variety of capacities, including debt sustainability and development financing, is incredibly relevant to the Corporation as we make strides to create inclusive and sustainable growth across Africa.

“I am also equally pleased to welcome Ms. Proxenos, Mr Oroh and Mr Baldeh to our Board of Directors, they will broaden and deepen the significant experience and skills of our Non-Executive Board and will assist the Corporation with its growth strategy.

“Lastly, I would like to thank Dr. Nnanna, who not only provided strong and excellent leadership to our organisation during a period of various transitions, but also gave much needed wise counsel. I speak on behalf of the Corporation as whole in thanking him for his service.”

Dr. Obiora also commented on the announcement: “AFC has over the past decade grown to become a leading investors in Africa, delivering projects that have transformed communities and economies. As I join the organisation as Board Chairman, I look forward to leveraging my experience to this esteemed organisation in helping it expand its investment footprint across the width and breadth of Africa.”

The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), is an investment grade multilateral finance institution, established in 2007 with an equity capital base of US$1 billion. The AFC aims to be the catalyst for private sector-led infrastructure investment across Africa. With a current balance sheet of approximately US$5.07 billion, AFC is the second highest investment grade rated multilateral financial institution in Africa with an A3/P2 (Stable outlook) rating from Moody’s Investors Service. AFC successfully raised US$1,150 million (US$650 million and US$500 million) in 2019, US$500 million in 2017 and US$750 million in 2015 through Eurobond issuances; out of its Board-approved US$3 Billion Global Medium-Term Note (MTN) Programme. All Eurobond issues were oversubscribed and attracted investors from Asia, Europe and the USA.

AFC’s investment approach combines specialist industry expertise with a focus on financial and technical advisory, project structuring, project development and risk capital to address Africa’s infrastructure development needs and drive sustainable economic growth. AFC invests in high-quality infrastructure assets that provide essential services in the core infrastructure sectors of power, natural resources, heavy industry, transport, and telecommunications. To date, the Corporation has invested over US$6.6 billion in projects within thirty countries across Africa.

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