AFRICA -The Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) has released its annual ICA’s Infrastructure Financing Trends in Africa report which revealed how funding was being mobilised to develop the continent’s infrastructure in 2018.

Mike Salawou, ICA Coordinator, and Manager of Infrastructure Partnerships, at the African Development Bank said, “The report’s publication during the Africa Investment Forum is extremely timely.”

“While the increase in financial commitments in 2018 is very welcome, the report also serves to highlight the size of Africa’s infrastructure financing gap – one of the key issues addressed during the forum,” he added.

The report, which was launched at the Africa Investment Forum, shows that financing of infrastructure in Africa reached a new high of $100.8 billion in 2018, a jump of about a quarter on 2017 and 38% up on the 2015-2017 average.

According to the ICA, the increase in expenditure can be attributed to a 65% and 33% increase in commitments over the previous 3-year average by China and African Governments respectively, and the role of other multilateral organisations resulted in the 24% increase recorded in infrastructure financing for 2018.

Among the key findings of the report was an increase in financing commitments across all sectors, with a notable increase in the energy sector, which attracted financing commitments worth $43.8 billion, an all-time high and a 67% increase on the 2015-2017 average.

The ICT sector also saw record commitments in 2018 of $7.1 billion, mostly from the private sector, the report highlighted.

Even with the significant increase in commitments in 2018, the reported noted that there remains a total financing gap of $52 billion to $92 billion per year.

The reported noted that Water and sanitation had largest financing gap of all the sectors, based on annual financing needs of $56-$66 billion and a 2016-2018 average commitment of $13 billion.

During the report’s release, Panellists Dr. T. Nyirenda-Jere, Dr. B. Ben Yaghlane, Dr. I. Urua, Mr. C. Kirigua and Mr. P. Guislain, addressed key messages highlighted in this year’s report, which includes, the need to increase both public and private sector financing, strengthen governance and improve the quality of infrastructure services.

The Africa Investment Forum where the report was released offers a platform for sourcing funding for bankable African projects, brokering infrastructure deals and providing innovative financial solutions.

The annual event organized by the African Development Bank attracts key global companies, financial players, and public officials who addressed the continent’s critical infrastructure investment gaps.