Africa Finance Corporation remains committed to fossil fuel investments

(This Sept. 7 story has been corrected to fix AFC’s ownership structure based on updated guidance from the AFC in paragraph 5)

LONDON – The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), which is owned by Nigeria’s central bank and other African financial institutions, has no intention of backing away from fossil fuel investments, a senior executive said on Thursday. 

While governments and U.N. leaders at Africa’s first-ever climate summit in Nairobi this week sought to promote the continent as a source of renewable energy solutions, the development of fossil fuel projects remains firmly on the agenda for many countries. 

“We cannot and will not run away from doing fossil fuel-based investing because the development needs of the continent are so huge,” Sanjeev Gupta, executive director of financial services at the AFC, said at the Reuters IMPACT climate conference in London.

“The world still needs energy security, the world still needs energy source diversity. No energy mix in the world in the next 50 years says no oil and gas, so why would we not develop our resources and fund our own fiscal budgets?”

The Lagos-based AFC is a pan-African multilateral development institution, with 40 member states. It is 43.1%-owned by Nigeria’s central bank and 42% by other African financial institutions, according to its website.

A report released this week by development charity ActionAid said that banks worldwide gave $3.2 trillion to the fossil fuel industry in Global South countries in the seven years since the 2015 Paris climate agreement, which agreed to limit global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius by slashing emissions. 

To view the live broadcast of the Road to COP Stage go to the Reuters IMPACT news page:

(By Jane Wardell;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)