West African Development Bank is using its positive ratings to attract $500 million worth of foreign investments

The West African Development Bank, also known as Banque Ouest Africaine de Developpement or BOAD, said yesterday that it plans to raise $500 million from international markets in the final quarter of 2015. The Francophone West Africa-focused financier is leveraging on its recent positive ratings to pull in more funds required to scale up investment in the region.

On 15 May and 11 June respectively, the international agencies Moody’s and Fitch had each classified BOAD within the rating category of ‘investment’. The positive assessment given by both agencies was due to BOAD’s financial performance, and the quality and stability of its governance. In the same month of June, the BOAD was accredited with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) which grants financial help to developing countries and countries in transition to realise projects in the areas of biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants. The bank says the accreditation reinforced the fact that it is willing to assist its member states in their efforts to promote environmental projects and programmes.

Christian Adovelande, the President of BOAD told journalists in Lomé, Togo that the increased international credibility meant the bank would be upping its scale of development as expressed through its Strategic Plan for 2015–2019. He said the strategic plan would aid the BOAD accelerate regional integration through sustained funding of infrastructure, which will include allocating of 50 percent of BOAD funding for regional projects, support for inclusive growth, food security, and sustainable development, as well as developing the infrastructure of financing and services of companies and States with a particular emphasis on promoting projects of public-private partnerships.

Most of the BOAD’s financing comes from the Regional Financial Market. However, Mr Adovelande said the international financial markets will become, by volume, the main borrowing source for BOAD. The first sign of that is the BOAD’s plan to raise 500 $million from these markets over the final quarter of 2015.

With 913 billion CFA raised to date, the BOAD said it is positioned as the first non-sovereign issuer in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) zone. It added that it has initiated steps with the WAEMU authorities for the establishment of innovative mechanisms that may allow the exercise of internal concessional resources. This should enable it to support the development projects of its Member States better, particularly in the sectors of infrastructure and food security.

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