Infrastructure finance availability 'on the rise'

Aug 02, 2010

Access to finance for African infrastructure projects is improving, a new report has concluded.

According to the study, entitled Private Sector Participation in Infrastructure in Africa, over $68 billion (€52 billion) was spent on infrastructure projects between 1990 and 2007, with 357 private initiatives getting underway during the 17-year period. The report was made official last month by the Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank (AfDB), following a peer review, having first been presented in 2008.

Jerome Afeikhena, author of the research, noted privatisations in the 1990s prompted many of the projects to take place, as countries turned to the private sector for finance due to poor management of public infrastructure. He also stated a mixture of private and public investment in African infrastructure initiatives is required over the next decade, during which $38 billion needs to be put in on an annual basis. "The needs are simply too large to be met by the private sector alone," the AfDB observed.

Developing public-private partnership frameworks was one focus of the recent 2010 Infrastructure Consortium for Africa annual meeting, which was chaired by AfDB Vice-President Bobby Pittman.