How to Solve Africa’s Infrastructure Gap

The continent’s largest development finance institutions have emphasized that a sustained and collaborative approach among development partners to scale up project development activities, will boost the number of bankable projects attracting investor interest and contribute to closing the infrastructure finance gap in Africa. They spoke during a panel event to discuss their organizations’ role in post-COVID-19 environment, convened on October 16, as part of a day-long public forum on investing in Africa’s future, organized by the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the Atlantic Council. The event had over 2000 participants. Launched at the end of 2019, the DFC has an investment cap of $60 billion and has selected Africa as a priority region for future investments. African Development Bank Acting Senior Vice President Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala, was joined by Samaila Zubairu, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC); Admassu Tadesse, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB), and Alain Ebobissé, Chief Executive Officer Africa50, for the hour long session, which was moderated by Edward Burrier, Executive Vice President of Strategy at the DFC. The panelists highlighted the importance of project development and a supply of bankable projects as being key for private sector investors. This requires an active approach in investing capital into the early stages of project preparation and accepting the risk, which has been one of the most important deterrents to attracting foreign investment into Africa. Most of the participating institutions offer a wide variety of financial instruments and products to help de-risk such investments.

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