The African Development Bank (AfDB) disclosed that it had partnered with the United Kingdom’s development agency, DFID to unveil its $80 million infrastructure financing initiative for Africa.
The partnership was signed during the opening ceremony for the 2020 UK-Africa Investment Summit.
According to the President of AfDB, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Africa has a $68-$108 billion infrastructure investment gap annually, which he described as a massive gap, however, he said that it could also be seen as an opportunity.
“It’s either the cup is half-full or half empty. To us, that is a $68-$108 billion opportunity. The issue of risk in Africa is exaggerated. The risk of loss is lower than in Latin America. Yet, funds are not being channeled into Africa. There are $8 trillion of assets under management in London, but only 1% is invested in Africa,” Adesina said.
Speaking further, Adesina called on investors to invest in Africa as he recalled that the Africa Investment Forum and its achievements in accelerating investments in the continent.
Also present during the event, which was attended by dignitaries and delegates from 16 African countries including President Muhammadu Buhari, was the President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Cheikh el Ghazouani. He shared opportunities offered by the blue ocean economy and substantial reforms currently underway to attract foreign investors to his country.
We have reinforced security along our coasts. Other measures include the establishment of a Council on Investment. These huge efforts are showing tremendous results and it is giving comfort to investors,” Ghazouani said.
The African continent is home to eight of the 15 fastest-growing economies in the world. By 2030, 42% of the world’s youth will be African and will constitute an incredible workforce and potential consumers.