Africa needs N100b for infrastructure, says AfDB ……… NATION

Akinwunmi-AdesinaAfrica needs about N100 billion  yearly to address its infrastructural challenges, the President, African Development Bank  (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, has said.

Adesina, who spoke in Lima, Peru, at a $90 million financing arrangement  for an airport project in Egypt, drawn from the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF),  said the amount of resources in Africa to deal with that is about  N50 billion a year. “So there is gap,” he said, adding that  a new Africa Delivery Vehicle called Africa 50 has being inaugurated to help raise funds to close the gap.

The AfDB chief noted that power was critical to achieving economic growth in the continent, stressing that the absence of power infrastructure would leave the sub-region underdeveloped.

“There is no way Africa can move to the top of the global economy value chain without power. That is why we have developed a new energy initiative for Africa 2025. Africa is tired of being in the dark and I am optimistic that most of our development challenges would be addressed, if there is sufficient power to run the economies,” Adesina said.

He added that countries at the peak of the global economic pyramid “are those that are competitive and are at the top of the value chain.”

The AfDB president said “Africa does not belong to the bottom of this value chain”.

Adesina stated that it was high time Africa moved to the top of the value chain through the creation of a  more robust and resilient economy.

“So our role at AfDB and as a bank, is to help Africa add value to every single commodity it is producing, be it cotton, agricultural raw materials, solid minerals, or oil and gas.  We will help Africa to export textiles instead of raw cotton, processed coffee, rather raw coffee and cocoa powder in place of raw cocoa,” he said.

The $90 million loan is the first  project by AfDB to be financed using the AGTF resources and marks the first publicly-financed transport sector loan in Egypt.

The project consists of development of new terminal building (financed by Islamic Development Bank), new runway and new control tower.

Through this project, the Egyptian aviation authorities will be able to raise the passenger handling capacity of the airport by an additional 10 million passengers per year to reach 18 million per annum.

Adesina said this will further boost Egyptian economy’s competitiveness and increase foreign currency earnings and create hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs for its citizens.

The Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Sahar Nasr, said the loan would play a crucial role in improving the country’s economic competitiveness, particularly in a period of transition.

She said the agreement stands as one of the best partnership that the Egyptian government would be having with the Peoples’ Republic of China, pledging her government would do everything at its disposal to ensure its proper implementation.

China said it was impressed with the project and hoped that the $2 billion fund, the first approved for the Africa Growing Together Fund, will be utilised for the purpose for which it was assigned through massive job creation for the people of Egypt.