By Chika Otuchikere
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has estimated that financing Africa’s development needs will require $600-$700 billion annually.
AfDB Economic Outlook for 2018 which made the projection says that the continent will need about $130-$170billion a year in infrastructure.
According to the bank, by 2050, Africa’s growing population will tip the scales at a whopping two billion, with a youth of 840 million. The continent is expected to overtake the populations of China and India combined.
As part of measures to address the challenge, the AfDB has launched the Africa Investment Forum, a platform to mobilize private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds and the private sector to facilitate infrastructure projects with the capacity to transform the continent.
President of AfDB, Mr. Akinwumi Adesina, pointed out that while Africa is the next investment frontier, there is an urgent need to bridge the gap between available capital and bankable projects, noting the Africa Investment Forum will help make Africa a place where its young people want to live and thrive in.
“The overall investment gap for Africa to achieve overall economic development is actually much higher and stands at $200 billion to $1.2 trillion a year. Impediments to bankable projects must be resolved to create win-wins for governments, development finance institutions and other relevant stakeholders. Africa must invest in its own development if it wants others to do so.
“This is the essential reason for the new approach of the Africa Investment Forum, a multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary platform that will incentivize collaboration for the economic and social development of Africa. This will primarily be about transactions and investment deals for Africa’s economic development and not a talk shop,” he said.
The Premier of Gauteng Province, Africa’s seventh largest economy, David Makhura, endorsed the Forum as a game changer for financing Africa’s infrastructure development at the launch of the African Investment Forum in Johannesburg.
“It’s an honour to receive a vote of confidence from one of the most influential, respected and credible institutions of our continent. I want to assure the African Development Bank, and members of the African and global investor community that we are ready to host a highly successful Africa Investment Forum in November,” Makhura said.