Africa faces infrastructure financing gap of $108 billion a year, says Akinwumi Adesina

Akinwumi AdesinaPresident of the African Development Bank (AfDB), says Africa faces an infrastructure financing gap of $68 billion to $108 billion a year.

Adesina said the situation persisted despite collective efforts to bridge the gap.

According to a statement on the AfDB’s website, Adesina said this when US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen hosted G-7 ministers and heads of multilateral development banks on Tuesday.

Speaking at the virtual roundtable, Adesina said the AfDB has committed over $44 billion to infrastructure across the continent over the past six years.

According to him, the money was channeled towards the development of critical areas such as transport, energy, water and sanitation.

Offering solutions to close the infrastructure financing gap in Africa, the AfDB The President said that efforts should be made to mobilize institutional investors and improve public infrastructure financing.

Others include attracting the private sector, mobilizing finance for green infrastructure, addressing risk and stretching the balance sheets of multilateral development banks.

Adesina also said that project preparation facilities were essential to the development of bankable infrastructure projects, adding that one of the main challenges of infrastructure projects was to advance commercially viable projects to financial close.

He added that more should be done focusing on local currency financing of infrastructure.

This, he said, could contribute to debt sustainability, as most of Africa’s debt today is due to infrastructure financing.

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