Rising from their meeting in Tunis over the weekend, African institutions endorsed AfDB’s Africa50 Fund as Africa’s vehicle to facilitate large-scale mobilization of resources and unlock international private financing with a view to addressing the continent’s infrastructure deficit.
A statement from the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), made available to PANA here on Monday, noted that the heads of key African political, economic and financial institutions have pledged to work together towards making a success of the new creative idea (Africa50 Fund), promoted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) to address the infrastructure gap on the continent.
“We, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Dr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the ECA, Dr. Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), regional Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) and NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA),take forward our cooperation in search of new and innovative ways for substantially scaling-up investments in regional and continental infrastructure to support Africa’s transformation”, the statement said.
They also commended AfDB’s initiative, which is seen as the essential vehicle for ensuring that the vision and goals of the Africa Agenda 2063 on the delivery of regional infrastructure projects is achieved.
According to the statement, the Africa50 Fund will be innovative in its design and structure, leveraging infrastructure financing resources from sources as diverse as African central bank reserves, African pension funds, African sovereign wealth funds, the African Diaspora, and high net worth individuals on the continent.
Earlier in May, African finance ministers attending the AfDB’s Annual Meetings in Marrakech, Morocco, endorsed the Africa50 Fund initiative, expected to partner with regional institutions for transformational projects.
The focus will be trans-continental infrastructure, including priority projects under the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa.
The statement quoted Dr. Kaberuka as saying: “The one thing which can really slow down the recent performance in its tracks is infrastructure. No country in the world has been able to maintain 7% GDP growth and above (sustainably) unless the infrastructure bottleneck is overcome.
“We are today, all sources combined, hardly able to put together US$ 45 billion a year, leaving an annual gap of similar volume. We are all doing different things in our respective regions with new initiatives and funds being created, but let us face it: there is no critical mass.”
He said that Africa’s regional economic entities, as well as development institutions should go beyond reflection on scenarios for financing infrastructure. “They should outline how it will be financed.”