AfDB, DFID unveil $80m infrastructure financing for Africa
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has unveiled a new $80 million infrastructure financing partnership with the United Kingdom’s development agency- DFID, for the continent.
The deal was reached during the opening ceremony for the 2020 UK-Africa Investment Summit, on Monday, which was attended by dignitaries and delegates from 16 African countries, including President Muhammadu Buhari.
The President of Africa’s largest multilateral lender, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said the continent’s $68-$108 billion infrastructure investment gap per year is massive, but also depends on how you look at it.
“It’s either the cup is half-full or half empty. To us, that is a $68-$108 billion opportunity. The issue of risk in Africa is exaggerated.
The risk of loss is lower than Latin America. Yet, funds are not being channeled into Africa.There are $8 trillion of assets under management in London, but only one per cent is invested in Africa,” he said.
He urged investors to look to Africa and recalled the achievements of the Africa Investment Forum – a game-changing initiative led by the African Development Bank and key partners, to accelerate investment in the continent.
The banker noted that the unique multi-sector platform is designed to advance bankable deals to financial closure.
At the 2019 Forum, which took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, deals valued at $40.1 billion secured investment interest.
UK’s Secretary of State for International Development, Alok Sharma, expressed confidence in the continent, saying: “Africa has a fabulous future.”
Sharma announced five partnerships to mobilise private sector investment in quality infrastructure on the continent.
“The City of London can play a role in mobilizing resources for Africa,” Sharma said.
President Mohamed Ould Cheikh el Ghazouani of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, shared opportunities offered by the blue ocean economy and substantial reforms currently under way to attract foreign investors to his country.
“We have reinforced security along our coasts. Other measures include the establishment of a Council on Investment. These huge efforts are showing tremendous results and it is giving comfort to investors,” he noted.
The African continent is home to eight of the 15 fastest-growing economies in the world. By 2030, 42 per cent of the world’s youth will be African and will constitute an incredible workforce and potential consumers.