The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund Ltd (EAIF) is a blended multi-donor fund that operates as a specialized development finance institution (DFI). EAIF has a 15-year track record, providing $713 million in financing to 71 private infrastructure projects across Africa to date. Most recently, EAIF successfully attracted $120 million in commercial capital from Allianz – a global financial institution. Nearly half of EAIF’s capital is invested in the least developed countries as defined by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
This case study reviews the history and evolution of EAIF to identify best practices and challenges for this type of blended fund, particularly as it relates to the ability to leverage concessional capital to mobilize commercial financing and achieve measurable development impact. EAIF and its portfolio projects have received numerous global awards, including nine awards in 2017 alone. EAIF presents several insights for others looking to create or invest in similar structures:
- Blended finance is a valuable tool for building markets and demonstrating the investability of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- Mobilizing the private sector is not easy – and a track-record goes a long way
- Approaches to impact monitoring and evaluation have evolved
- The Private Infrastructure Development Group’s (PIDG) governance structure is a good model to consider for specialized multi-donor efforts