Infrastructure Development in Africa: Trends and Developments

Highway Cape Town

The Global Economic Governance Programme (GEG) and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) would like to extend an invitation to you to participate in an expert group meeting exploring debt sustainability and the development of infrastructure as an asset class in Africa.

While infrastructure financing remains high on the development agenda of African countries, Africa’s infrastructure financing deficit remains persistently large. The resulting lack of investment in energy, transport and water infrastructure on the continent presents a significant barrier to economic growth and development. Following significant debt relief efforts throughout the 1990s/2000s, many African countries are again reaching high debt levels. Yet, the infrastructure financing milieu in Africa has changed dramatically over the past two decades. The advent of emerging countries as bilateral financiers, private financiers and sovereign bond issuances by African countries has produced alternative options for African countries to reduce the infrastructure financing deficit. What is the current state of debt across the continent and how do different actors view the current situation? In light of this context, how can new and innovative sources of finance from private and institutional investors be leveraged for infrastructure development?

The objective of this event is to disseminate findings from two GEG research papers into the state of debt levels on the continent and appropriate debt management strategies, as well as the development of infrastructure as an asset class as a way of mobilising institutional investments for infrastructure development.

The workshop will be structured into two sessions: the first session examines the challenges and prospects for the mobilisation of African pension and sovereign wealth funds to invest in infrastructure on the continent. It specifically draws on experiences from South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Botswana. The second session provides an overview of debt levels across African countries, whilst proposing effective debt management strategies from two case study countries: Nigeria and Morocco.

Download the programme here.

28 Sep 2018