Standard Bank works with governments, development finance institutions and other commercial banks to structure and provide appropriate financial solutions to address Africa’s infrastructure gaps, with appropriate risk sharing arrangements.
Inadequate power, water, transport and telecommunications infrastructure inhibits Africa’s economic growth and potential for job creation and human development. The African Development Bank has estimated that Africa needs USD170 billion per year in infrastructure investment. This is essential to cater for a rapidly growing, rapidly urbanising population. It’s also necessary to support the regional integration needed to enable efficient trade of goods and services and create economies of scale. While several African governments have invested heavily in large-scale infrastructure investment in recent years, the continent still faces major gaps in terms of energy, water, transport and telecommunications infrastructure. The challenge is exacerbated by the lack of capacity in most African capital markets to finance large-scale infrastructure projects. Africa’s commercial banks play a key role in structuring appropriate funding instruments, and in partnering with governments and development finance institutions to mobilise funding. We have used our access to international capital markets to help governments in Africa secure the funding needed.
Our energy finance portfolio is increasingly focused on renewable energy projects. In 2018, we financed 135 MWs of wind power projects and 300 MWs of solar PV projects in South Africa. We also financed a 37 MW solar PV project in Namibia. It is the country’s first large-scale independent power producer project, and has increased Namibia’s energy capacity by 7%.
Reliable, regionally integrated transport networks, together with efficient port facilities, are crucial to enable African economies to access regional and international markets and grow their export capacity. Standard Bank financed a number of transport infrastructure projects during 2018. In Ghana, we financed the development of the first phase of the Tema Port development, which will establish Ghana as a leading maritime hub in West Africa.
Water shortages and irregular rainfall patterns have placed significant water stresses across Africa. In the Western Cape in South Africa, we financed portable desalination plants, producing seven million litres of potable water per day, improving water security for businesses and homes in the area. In the telecommunications sector, we provided a USD100 million loan facility to grow Ghana’s telecom sector through the merger of Bharti Airtel and Millicom to launch Airtel-Tigo.
Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation
Balancing Africa’s power and energy needs with the negative impact of climate
Adaptation and mitigation of climate change, especially in relation to water in key sectors and markets
Investing in renewable energy
The World Bank estimates that just over 60% of sub-Saharan Africa’s population is without access to electricity.
Access to reliable and affordable energy is a pre-condition for addressing a broad range of challenges, including access to healthcare, access to education, food security, economic growth and job creation. Renewable energy technologies offer cost-effective and sustainable solutions. We invested in 435 MW of renewable energy in South Africa and 37 MW in Namibia in 2018.
Since 2012, an estimated 984 900 equivalent homes have received renewable power from Standard Bank financed projects in South Africa.
435 MW of renewable energy added to South Africa’s energy supply, providing reliable and affordable energy for local communities and creating jobs.
37 MW of solar power added to Namibia’s grid, increasing energy capacity by 7%, avoiding emissions of 33 000 metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent every year, reducing dependence on regional power imports, and bringing down the cost of electricity for consumers.
Financing transport infrastructure to boost trade
Investing in transport infrastructure such as ports and roads supports economic growth and job creation. During 2018, Standard Bank financed major transport infrastructure projects in Ghana, Mozambique and Malawi.
Establishes Ghana as a leading maritime hub in West Africa, supporting import and export capacity and driving economic growth and job creation.
Expanding telecommunications infrastructure
Bharti Airtel and Millicom are global players in the telecoms sector. They partnered with Stanbic Bank Ghana to finance their merger and launched the Airtel-Tigo brand.
Funding water infrastructure, an increasingly scarce resource
During 2016 and 2017, much of east and southern Africa suffered from severe drought.
South Africa’s Western Cape was particularly hard hit, resulting in the looming threat of Day Zero, the day the taps would run dry in the City of Cape Town, in early 2018. While strict water management, concerted efforts by residents, and longawaited rains have delayed Day Zero, however, Cape Town remains a severely water stressed city.