THE African Development Bank (AfDB) says the continent needs $170 billion to cover the infrastructure investment gap, calling for urgent measures to match Africa’s growing population and youth unemployment.
The bank’s president, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, told delegates during a recent meeting in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, that the continent should match infrastructure growth with the growing youth population.
“The good news is that the solution is within our reach and will require investments,” he said.
The bank discussed strategies for closing Africa’s $170 billion infrastructure investment gap. Dr Adesina said to bridge the investment gap, ensure inclusive growth, and creating employment for the continent’s population, the upcoming African Investment Forum in South Africa in November this year was a timely opportunity to catalyse investments into projects and attract social impact financing to Africa.
Through the African Investment Forum, the bank and its partners intend to showcase bankable projects, attract financing, and provide platforms for investing across Africa. It is hoped that the forum would bring together the AfDB and other global multilateral financial institutions to de-risk investments at scale.
“A uniqueness of the African Investment Forum is that there will be no speeches. The only speeches will be transactions,” said Dr Adesina.
“We have 12 years left to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is an alarm bell because if Africa does not achieve the SDGs, the world won’t achieve them. The AfDB is accelerating development across Africa through the High 5s.
“We are leveraging more resources for Africa’s development and the impact of our interventions is being felt.”
According to AfDB, 13 percent of the world’s population is estimated to live in sub-Saharan Africa. The regional financier projects that the above said figure would more than double by 2050.
Four billion (or 36 per cent of the world’s population) could live in the region by 2100, according to the United Nations Population Division.
Africa is projected to have over 840 million youth by 2050 with the continent having the youngest population on earth.