Africa50 general shareholders call for global investments in African infrastructure

African Development Bank Group President and Chairman of the Africa50 Board of Directors, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has highlighted the crucial role that Africa50 is playing to help bridge Africa’s infrastructure financing gap.

Mr Adesina who was speaking at the opening session of Africa50’s general shareholders meeting in Marrakech on Tuesday told delegates that Africa50 had invested $5 billion in 16 private-sector focused investments in six years.

He said: “I am proud of Africa50. It is a first-rate institution, pushing the frontiers of development on infrastructure in Africa, preparing projects, taking them to commercial viability, and financing them.”

Africa50’s CEO Alain Ebobissé said “Africa50 is a catalyst and plays a critical role. Private investment is key to meeting our objective to equip African countries with sustainable infrastructure.”

Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance Nadia FettahAlaoui said the Africa50 general shareholders meeting was taking place at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic had shown Africa’s vulnerability.

She outlined the role Morocco intends to play in the recovery.

“Morocco’s vision is to build a better future. There can only be a prosperous world with a prosperous Africa. Together, we are stronger and can go further with funds like Africa50 as a catalyst for financial integration, Alaoui said.

The African Development Bank, Africa50 and the African Sovereign Investors Forum, chaired by Morocco’s strategic investment fund Ithmar Capital, signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the development of green and climate resilient infrastructure projects across Africa.

The partnership expects to mobilize significant funding from African institutional investors towards sustainable infrastructure.

According to Mr Adesina, Africa’s growth and development depended on its ability to massively attract investments into infrastructure across energy, transport, ICT, health care and water and sanitation.

 He added that the African Development Bank had already invested more than $44 billion in these sectors.

Adesina told the delegates there was still much to do to meet Africa’s infrastructure needs.

“We must tap all possible funding sources,” he stressed. “That is why the African Development Bank helped to establish Africa50 to bring together key stakeholders, including private sector investors, development finance institutions and infrastructure developers. Its project finance arm provides long-term finance, while its project development arm adds value by generating a pipeline of viable projects.”

The Bank Group head highlighted Africa50’s investment in the Kinshasa-Brazzaville bridge project, and the Kigali Innovation City digital infrastructure project, which will create over 50,000 jobs. Africa50 is supporting Africa’s green transition to cleaner renewable electricity from solar, thermal and hydropower in partnership with the African Development Bank and other institutions through the Alliance for Green Infrastructure in Africa.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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