British International Investment (BII), the UK's development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor, today announced a EUR 20 million commitment to The Urban Resilience Fund (TURF), launched by Meridiam. The investment is the DFI's first investment in an urban infrastructure fund and supports the design and scale of climate-focussed infrastructure projects across sub-Saharan Africa - increasing the affordability, safety, reliability, and climate-resilience of public infrastructure in African cities.
Meridiam is an infrastructure specialist with global expertise in developing, financing, and long-term management of sustainable public infrastructure in Africa. Through the fund, they will target infrastructure investments aligned with sustainability goals, such as energy efficiency and carbon capture. The Fund will invest in:
Urban mobility such as bus rapid transit and modern cable cars.
BII has been an active partner to Meridiam over the years having also invested in their previous two funds – MIAF I and MIAF II which successfully invested across major greenfield and brownfield infrastructure projects. This included two solar parks in Senegal that deliver a combined 60MW of reliable electricity to households and industry, increasing firm productivity, facilitating economic growth and job creation.
This latest transaction reflects the companies' joint vision to invest in low-carbon, climate-smart solutions for municipal environments experiencing the pressures of rapid urbanisation. Africa's cities are the fastest-growing cities in the world; and while they pose challenges with insufficient infrastructure, pollution and congestion, the lack of existing development presents the opportunity to create exemplars of green public infrastructure.
The investment from BII helps contribute to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals on industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9); on sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), and on climate action (SDG 13).
Andrew Mitchell, Minister of State for Development and Africa said: The UK is committed to supporting the development and climate-resilience of infrastructure services in African cities. I am pleased to see British International Investment commit to this Fund and we are confident that their involvement will help attract much needed additional funding from the private sector in support of vital, clean and green infrastructure in the region."
Holger Rothenbusch, Head of Infrastructure and Climate, BII added: "We are delighted to be an anchor investor in Meridiam's latest fund and will be supporting Meridiam in its efforts to reach its first close. The Fund will deliver clear benefits to local communities at a time when there has never been a more urgent need to invest in sustainable infrastructure to increase climate resilience. This Fund is a 'first-of-its-kind' in the market and will contribute to creating progressive solutions that ensure that citizens benefit from the rapid urbanisation taking place in African cities."
Mathieu Peller, Partner and Deputy CEO, Meridiam commented: "We are very pleased with the longstanding support from BII across our various African strategies. BII's investment in TURF is a key milestone in our partnership to deliver sustainable and impactful infrastructure projects which are needed by cities throughout the continent. TURF will be essential in addressing the multiple resilience challenges faced by cities, such as climate change, sustainable resource management and social inclusion."