Somsol supports businesses throughout the project development lifecycle and initiates own projects.
We seek to alleviate poverty by mobilising private sector expertise and finance to develop infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa’s poorer countries.
A challenge and an opportunity
Infrastructure provides the power, communications and transport that businesses need to produce goods and connect to markets. In turn, businesses provide income and economic opportunities for people and generate the revenues needed for governments to invest in public infrastructure services. Infrastructure is a key driver of economic growth.
Developing infrastructure is capital intensive. Africa’s annual infrastructure funding need has been estimated at US$93bn. This cost can’t be met entirely by the public sector yet infrastructure projects struggle to mobilise private sector investors.
This is particularly true during the earliest stages of project development when expertise, regulatory frameworks and commercial viability may be unproven and so risks are higher.
We can help
Somsol can mobilise private sector participation and investment. We provide funding and expertise to projects at their earliest stage, enabling them to grow from an initial concept to a bankable investment opportunity.
We partner with host governments and the private sector, working with both to address market gaps and to help develop the regulatory frameworks needed to enable private sector participation in infrastructure.
The initial stages of project development require relatively little finance but higher risks can deter private sector investors.
We will only get involved in a project if we can bring something additional, something that is unique to us that other private or DFI parties can not bring to the project. We will not subsidise other investors’ returns but instead look to invest in early-stage projects that are too risky for others alone, but have the potential to be bankable and raise sufficient investment at Financial Close.
For us, being additional does not just mean providing scarce capital. Our involvement may enable a project to run a pilot to build investor confidence or pioneer a technology or business model for the first time within a country. Our involvement may also mean that the project adopts international environmental, social or governance standards or implements additional benefit-sharing programmes for local communities. For Somsol, being additional is fundamental to achieving our purpose and delivering on our shareholders’ goals.