African infrastructure: the road to Nirvana?

Author:Alli, Andrew

The World Bank estimates that Africa's infrastructure investment deficit is approximately US$40 billion per annum for at least the next decade. More than twice as much again is required every year to maintain Africa's infrastructure. This severe investment shortfall in essential infrastructure projects is constraining growth and is holding back millions of Africans from achieving their economic potential.

A lack of investment in transport infrastructure and infrastructure to take advantage of Africa's abundant natural resources are of particular concern. As is access to power generation and distribution. It is estimated that the combined power generation capacity of the 48 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa is roughly that of Spain (approx. 102 million kilowatts).

African governments themselves often lack the resources they need to fund large scale projects on their own. Furthermore, despite improving macroeconomic conditions and progress on governance, private investors have so far participated in African infrastructure with caution and in small doses.

More needs to be done to eliminate the risks, both real and perceived, that have dissuaded them so far. Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) is an African-led investment grade rated multilateral development finance institution, established in 2007, whose mission is to improve African economies by proactively developing and financing infrastructure, industrial and financial assets. AFC is involved as an investor, developer and financier of various infrastructure projects, and is gaining recognition as the benchmark institution for financing the development of infrastructure projects in...

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