Access Bank PLC

Emir Sanusi Appointed Chairman of Black Rhino

First Bank Nigeria

Emir of Kano, His Highness Muhammad Sanusi II, has been named chairman of Black Rhino, a Blackstone Portfolio Company focused on the development and acquisitions of energy and infrastructure projects across Africa.

Black Rhino was formed in January 2012 to develop and to invest in transformational infrastructure projects in Sub-Saharan Africa’s power generation and fuel transportation sectors. Its management team has collectively been involved in the development of over US$35 billion of infrastructure, communication and power generation projects across the globe.

A statement from the company quoted Black Rhino’s founder and chief executive, Brian Herlihy, as saying, “One can scarcely imagine a stronger addition to the Black Rhino Board. The Emir has unparalleled insights into Africa’s regional and local socio-economic development needs and the role that power and infrastructure development can play.”

He expressed the belief that as chairman of Black Rhino, the Emir would provide business as well as moral guidance in all its endeavours across Africa.  “It is an honour and a privilege to announce His Highness, the Emir of Kano as the Chairman of Black Rhino,” the statement said.

The statement also quoted a senior Managing Director at Blackstone, who oversees the firm’s global private equity investments in power generation and natural resources Sean Klimzak as saying, “We are pleased that Emir Sanusi has agreed to lend Black Rhino his considerable expertise and wisdom as Chairman.

“We look forward to working closely together as we develop energy solutions for Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Another endorsement of the appointment came from chair of Blackstone African Infrastructure LP and Managing Director at Black Rhino, Mimi Alemayehou, who explained that “Emir Sanusi has a comprehensive mastery of the interdependence of Africa with the global economy.

“He has the courage and integrity necessary to give us the full, candid and impartial counsel that a long-term investor in Africa needs.  We are gratified and, indeed, privileged to have a partner of such immense stature alongside us as we chart our course.”

In his reaction to the appointment, the Emir, who is the immediate past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said, “I am honoured to join the Board of Black Rhino, a company that is looking to develop infrastructure projects in places where there is the most need to transform communities.

“We live in a time of intense competition for capital and I do hope that by joining the Board I can play some part in bringing some of that capital nearer to home.”

Sanusi was named Emir of Kano in June 2014, the second-highest Muslim authority in Nigeria.

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