The Managing Director of The Africa Energy Investment Corporation (AEICORP), Zakaria Dosso, spoke in the January issue of PAV Magazine about the founding of AEICORP, the challenges faced at its inception, the journey thus far, the critical role of Africans in the diaspora, and the plans for 2022 and beyond. The former Executive Director of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation (APPO) Fund also discussed how the reform of APPA, now APPO, was instrumental in the formation of AEICORP.
The MD recalled how the first consultant nearly crushed the idea by advising that the Fund was irrelevant in the early days of the Corporation. He attributed the committee’s subsequent success to their perseverance, as well as that of the majority of member countries and another independent consultant who shared the same vision and emphasised the importance of establishing a financial institution with a large capital base to finance both studies and projects in the continent’s oil and gas sector, as well as to ensure energy access throughout Africa.
AEICORP was established on January 26, 2019, during an Extraordinary Session of the APPO Council of Ministers in Abuja, Nigeria. It has a $1 billion Authorised Capital and aims to raise funds for the development of hydrocarbons and other energy industries in Africa.
He noted that Nigeria and Niger were the first countries to commit $18 million and $10 million, respectively, in the first round of its equity raising, but expressed confidence that, because countries are more concerned about the threat of developing countries banning fossil fuels, they all recognise the need for an African financial body that allows for African control over our resources.
When asked about public opinion of the AEICORP, he replied that the Corporation’s primary focus at this time is on its major partners, which are African governments and companies working in their priority sectors.
He said: “African countries must pool their resources and efforts together to foster the development of this energy sector, including the hydrocarbons one. This event showed us that we have friends everywhere outside Africa willing to help us but we should first show them what we are capable of doing before requesting any assistance from them.”
Commenting on the Corporation’s plan for 2022, ” we expect to raise at least 500 million US dollar equity from African countries, financial institutions, sectors’ companies, sovereign funds, pension funds, etc.” as they plan to fully commence operations in the second half of this year.
Commenting in the role diaspora can play, he said it has a very important role in implementing some of the Corporation’s innovative funding solutions.