Letter from the MB of the Fund Manager

Dear reader,

Without a doubt, 2020 has been one of the most challenging years for FMO and its customers. Amid the economic and social fall-out of the pandemic, the state funds under management by FMO played an important role in ensuring that our customers could stay afloat. We look back at a turbulent year with delays in project development but also projects gaining traction as they proofed to be essential for the development of the infrastructure in the countries, we are active in.

In 2021, substantial challenges and uncertainties remain. The pandemic aggravates existing challenges related to climate change, the deepening inequality-crisis and macro-economic precariousness. The public funds and facilities under management by FMO will continue to play their countercyclical role, generate impact on the ground and contribute to the creation of markets in which private finance can flow to those areas where it is most needed.

Despite the effects of the pandemic, the Partnership Development Facility (PDF) looks back moderately positive on the project development activities in 2020. Despite the expected delays in the project development activities due to lockdowns, three projects were successfully finalized and two new contracts were signed in the enabling infrastructure sector in Ghana and Ivory Coast respectively.

Flying Swans made good progress in 2020 on the lead projects in the agricultural logistical corridors in Ethiopia and South Africa. These projects will contribute to improved agro-logistical connections for export, benefitting both commercial farms and local smallholder farmers. One of the highlights of the year was the first rail-carried shipment of avocados from Ethiopia through the port of Djibouti to Europe, serving as a trial for the future Ethiopia-Djibouti perishable export rail corridor. 

We thank all our stakeholders for their continuous support, including our clients and investors, the
Dutch Ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs, the NGOs that help us to improve and our colleagues for
giving their best every day.

The Hague, 15 April 2021

On behalf of the Management Board

Linda Broekhuizen, Chief Executive Officer, a.i.
Fatoumata Bouaré, Chief Risk and Finance Officer
Huib-Jan de Ruijter, Chief Investment Officer, a.i.