The President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, says African countries need $100 billion annually to close infrastructure financing gap.
Mr. Adesina disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja.
He said that the bank had invested a lot in infrastructure, adding that the aim of the bank was to connect African countries with a trans-national high way.
He said that in order to close the infrastructure gap, the bank had created what it called “Africa 50” as a new private sector platform to mobilise funds for infrastructure development.
Mr. Adesina said that the aim of “Africa 50” was to help mobilise at least $10 billion toward what Africa would need over the next five years on infrastructure.
He said that “Africa 50” was to help countries to use their sovereign wealth funds toward the development of the infrastructure.
“Today, Africa has about 164 billion dollars in sovereign wealth funds that can be easily used to finance infrastructure.
“Our pension funds that we have in Africa are over $360 billion and this can also go into infrastructure.
“The bank’s role is to de-risk that investments so that private sector can invest.
“The bank is also investing in rail in the East Africa.
“The bank has invested in rail that will connect the ports coming out of Mozambique to Uganda and Rwanda.
“We have also invested in the road connecting Lagos to Abidjan and Abidjan to Dakar.
“We have invested in air travels to improve air transportation and air navigation system for many airports and we will continue to invest,” Mr. Adesina said.
Speaking on investment, the bank chief said that foreign direct investment inflow in Africa was about $64 billion as at 2015, adding that the investment would continue to rise.
Mr. Adesina said that Africa would be the focus of investors and this would increase the inflow of foreign direct investment.
He, therefore, called for good governance, accountability and transparency across the continent.