Africa spends $30b of own resources on infrastructure funding – Dr. Atta-Mensah
Africa is said to be spending $30 billion of internally generated funds on infrastructure development contrary to the belief that the continent depends entirely on external aid to fully finance the $45 billion infrastructure bill.
Speaking to ghanabusinessnews.com in an interview after a panel discussion at the first Africa Trade Forum, Tuesday November 22, 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Dr. Joseph Atta-Mensah, the Director, Office of Strategic Planning and Programme Management (OPM), of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), said contrary to what we think that Africa is poor, Africa is not poor at all.
Citing a World Bank study, he said out of the $93 billion required for infrastructure development, of the $45 billion being spent now, “Africa is spending $45 billion and Africa out of its own revenue resources is spending about $30 billion,” he said.
Giving a breakdown, he said of the remaining $15 billion, $10 billion is coming from the private sector, such as telecommunications and so on.
“So the remainder of $5 billion, contrary to others’ thinking that we are relying on aid from outside to develop our infrastructure, it’s only $5 billion that comes from OECD and non-OECD countries like China, India and the rest,” he said.
Dr. Atta-Mensah emphasised the fact that infrastructure is critical if Africa must trade itself out of poverty. “Without infrastructure, we won’t be able to do that,” he said.
He cited Ghana and its neighbours, Burkina Faso, Togo and Ivory as an example. He said if Ghana invests in infrastructure, the country will be able to connect with its neighbours.
Additionally, he said African countries should invest in energy.
“In terms of infrastructure, you also need energy which is the critical part, in terms of getting businesses to run”, citing a period in Ghana when electricity was rationed, he said, “if you are a businessman operating in such an environment, it’s very difficult.”
Listen to Dr. Atta-Mensah on the attached audio below.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, in Addis Ababa,Ethiopia