Africa Needs Up to $108 Billion Annual Infrastructure Investments

Africa50, the infrastructure fund of the African Development Bank, reported during the U.S.-Africa business summit in Marrakech that African countries need to leverage more private funds to meet infrastructure financing needs estimated at between $68 billion and $108 billion annually. Leveraging more private capital to finance infrastructure projects, as part of public-private partnerships, would help free public funds to projects shunned by the private sector, according to Africa50.

Africa50 has spent $5 billion on 16 projects since its establishment six years ago. Those projects include the fields of energy, transport, information, communication technologies, healthcare and education.

The infrastructure fund has also signed on the same day a deal with a grouping of some of the richest African wealth funds to increase their involvement in African infrastructure investments.

China has been the top foreign investor in Africa since 2013, when it kicked off its Belt and Road Initiative. So far, Beijing has unrolled billions of dollars on Africa’s infrastructure. The United States has been trying to catch up, but is still far off.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) planned a $26 million fund in feasibility studies last year of African investment projects with a potential to generate $17 billion in financing.

USTDA said Sub-Saharan Africa is one of its largest portfolios, and it expected that the continent’s demand to grow for investment from the U.S. companies.

The agency underlined that although it would prefer its African partners to get financing from the USTDA, it wouldn’t force it. It would not put any condition on who finances projects.

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