African leaders collaborate on major African infrastructure

08 June 2015

African leaders are working together on major infrastructure projects on the continent, helped by business and political leaders, including former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

The World Economic Forum Global Strategic Infrastructure Initiative (ASII) hopes to draw billions of dollars to boost infrastructure projects in Africa.

“Africa has a $100-billion a year infrastructure gap. It needs to spend $1.5-trillion in the next 15 years to provide water, electricity, sanitation, roads, rail and economic growth necessary for 80-million young people in Africa to get jobs every year,”

Brown told a media briefing ASII has identified a need to get projects to a stage where they are bankable. Much-needed infrastructure projects often struggle to progress beyond the concept stage as project preparation is costly, lengthy, complex and risky.

Though the ASII, the WEF has identified a new approach based on best practices observed globally, clear objectives and a focused strategy, together with a self-sustainable finance model.
The initiative has given guidance and support by establishing a best practice framework for improved infrastructure delivery in Africa.

Development Bank of Southern Africa CEO Patrick Dlamini said the progress the initiative had made had been remarkable. There were now serious discussions on a Central Corridor project linking five countries around Tanzania in various infrastructure programmes.

Five heads of State meet every quarter to discuss progress.
“The projects are ready for investors. “We are sending the message out that Africa is ready for projects to be financed by international investors. We are at the start of an investment decade that will solve the infrastructure gap,” said Brown.


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