Africa Finance Corporation secures first International credit rating
The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC or the Corporation), a multilateral development financial institution headquartered in Lagos, has secured its first International credit rating from Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s).
Moody’s has assigned the Corporation an A3 (long term) /P2 (short term) foreign currency debt rating, making the AFC the second highest investment grade rated multilateral financial institution on the African continent.
Moody’s rationale for this investment grade rating is based on a sound capital adequacy position, high asset quality and strong prudential framework that supports a high degree of liquidity, supported by an excellent profit margin and profit retention.
Additionally, the Corporation’s strong liquidity framework and position which is in excess of the requirements of Basel III Capital Accord on liquidity risk management, will mitigate against external economic shocks, and help support planned growth. The outlook on the rating is stable.
AFC was established in 2007 as a private sector-led Pan African multilateral development finance institution, with an initial capital base of USD1.1 billion, to be a catalyst for private sector infrastructure investment across Africa.
AFC was established to help fill a critical void in providing project structuring expertise and risk capital to address Africa’s infrastructure development needs.
AFC not only provides access to finance, deal structuring and sector technical expertise, but also advisory services, project development capacity, and funding to bridge the infrastructure investment and access deficits, in the core infrastructure sectors of power, natural resources, heavy industry, transport and telecommunications, all critical pillars for economic growth across Africa.
Andrew Alli, President and Chief Executive Officer, AFC, said: “Attaining an investment grade International credit rating, only six years after inception, is a tremendous achievement. It is a major milestone in the Corporation’s history.
“This rating, together with AFC’s strong capital position and the quality of its portfolio, will enable AFC to grow its balance sheet, broaden its asset base and expand its geographical footprint.
It is a further endorsement of the Corporation’s rigorous investment process, innovative approach to infrastructure investment on the continent, world-class corporate governance and solid shareholder support.”
He concluded: “The Corporation is poised to assist in further driving economic growth and industrial development in Africa. We are extremely pleased with the rating.”
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.