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World Bank, Morocco to woo investors with green infra fund

The multilateral will be teaming up with a Moroccan sovereign investment vehicle to establish a ‘pan-African’ fund focused on energy, transport and water.

The World Bank and Ithmar Capital, a Moroccan sovereign vehicle, have agreed to create a green infrastructure fund to finance projects across Africa.

The pair signed a MoU last week at COP22 in Marrakech to form the Green Growth Infrastructure Facility for Africa. They said the fund’s primary aim will be to support Africa’s transition to low-carbon infrastructure such as clean energy, low-carbon transportation and the efficient utilisation of water resources.

They added that the fund will also include a dedicated PPP unit which will collaborate with the continent’s government on establishing viable projects. The GGIF will also work on de-risking projects currently regarded as unbankable.

The fund will be sponsored by both the World Bank and Ithmar Capital. They said its objective will be to attract the attention of private investors with interests in Morocco or Africa.

“The World Bank and Ithmar Capital will work in close partnership with a broad range of public and private investors, including regional development banks, sovereign wealth funds and global and regional institutional investors, to increase private capital participation in green infrastructure investments across the continent,” the duo said.

Ithmar Capital was created by the Moroccan government five years ago as a fund to attract and accompany investment in tourism in the North African country before rebranding as Ithmar in September this year. Tarik Senhaji, former managing director at Natixis CIB, remains the fund’s chief executive.