Private sector investment essential to bolster Africa's infrastructure – Laing

The importance of private sector investment in expanding Africa’s infrastructure has been emphasized.

Speaking at the Africa Investment Forum in Accra, Ghana the CEO of CDC Group Plc, Richard Laing said Africa’s infrastructure needs in critical need of investment. He said private sector involvement is key to strengthening the continent’s infrastructure.

“Africa’s infrastructure requires around US$93 billion a year, when you realise the current spend is less than half that at around US$45 billion a year, you realise just how much scope there is for private sector investment and expertise,” he said.

He therefore called on African governments to create the atmosphere conducive for investment in the sector.

Africa continues to face challenges in infrastructure development. For instance, Africa requires about $46 billion to meet its power needs.

Writing in an article last year, the World Bank Vice President for Africa, Obiageli Ezekwesili said Africa’s economic growth and poverty reduction are closely linked with the quality of its infrastructure; its power, transport systems, water supply and sanitation, and its ICT networks.  In the current economic climate, finding the financial resources for Africa’s huge infrastructure needs is an enormous challenge. But without those resources, African governments will find it very difficult to catch up with other regions of the world. The continent’s institutions and international partners must work together to overcome this challenge and quickly.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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