CMS Legal: Interview with Alex Traube-Childs

7th Nov 2023

CMS Legal published the original interview here on 7th November 2023.


Alex Traube-Childs, General Counsel & Head of Business Integrity, InfraCo Africa

InfraCo Africa mobilises investment for infrastructure projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, investing directly into early-stage projects and providing development leadership. With its ISO 37001 certification for anti-bribery management, the organisation seeks to embed high standards of business integrity in its projects and business partners, some of which are start-ups in challenging emerging markets.

InfraCo Africa actively supports the energy transformation and expansion of green technologies and is wholly committed to renewables, focussing on sustainability and expanding renewable energy generation both on- and off-grid. Traube-Childs explains, “Solar power and battery storage are becoming more affordable and faster to deploy. This is enabling us to deploy mini-grids in rural and remote areas as well as delivering larger, on-grid solar developments. InfraCo Africa is also developing other renewable energy sources such as geothermal and hydro power.”

Transport and logistics is one focal point, particularly expanding electric mobility and marine transport designed to reduce emissions and open up regional trade. InfraCo Africa is supporting the scale-up of Zembo’s urban motorcycle taxi business in Uganda and Mobility for Africa’s robust electric three wheelers in rural Zimbabwe, where it also delivered business integrity training. Traube- Childs says, “We are working to develop the whole ecosystem for EV to thrive, developing optimised business models, new charging infrastructure, systems for battery refurbishment and recycling and training initiatives for drivers as well as building businesses with strong business integrity and Health, Safety, Environment and Security practices.”

As a key driver of economic development, digital access is another area of and connectivity for InfraCo Africa. “Our investment into Mawingu Telecoms in Kenya seeks to scale the company’s delivery of fixed connectivity broadband access for homes, businesses and public service providers through its solar- powered telecoms towers which can be deployed in remote and rural areas.”

Traube-Childs notes that investors are trying to scale their impact by unlocking new sources of long-term domestic capital. InfraCo Africa has complemented the work of its Private Infrastructure Development Group sister company, GuarantCo, by supporting InfraCredit Nigeria with equity to scale its offering and engaging with Cardano Development in establishing a credit enhancement facility in Kenya. Traube-Childs says, “PIDG’s support for specialist credit enhancement facilities is starting to bear fruit for infrastructure developers who previously struggled to secure local currency finance of sufficient tenor length to make their projects bankable.”

As to how ESG considerations fit into the work of the organisation, Traube-Childs says, “At InfraCo Africa, we are committed to reporting on our emissions and those of our portfolio projects to better understand our impact and to make changes in the way that we work to drive down our emissions and maximise the climate resilience of our investments.”