BusinessDay

Forum targets $10bn yearly to bridge Africa’s infrastructure gap

The World Forum for Africa (WOFA), a newly established think-tank, says it is set to rallying stakeholders around the world to raise $10 billion to bridge the infrastructure gap in Africa.

The forum hopes to raise the $10b through its innovative annual private sector-led global summit coupled with a transnational initiative called Infrastructure As An Asset (IAAA) proprietary programme.

The IAAA will be used to conceptualise and implement transformational infrastructural projects that are economically viable, fiscally and commercially sustainable.

Abi Ahmed Haruna, co-convener of the think-tank, noted that WOFA was single-mindedly committed to infrastructure development in Africa.

“Notwithstanding some outstanding initiatives, in 2016, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimated that between $1.6 trillion and $2.5 trillion was required annually for the period 2015–2030 to bridge the infrastructure financing gap in developing countries,” Haruna said, citing relevant statistics.

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“The African Development Bank (AfDB) estimates that Africa needs $170 billion a year by 2025, with an estimated gap of around $100 billion to plug infrastructure deficit across all major sectors in the continent and to meet the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),’’ he added.

He noted that this tenuous position of Africa was further heightened by the unprecedented double impact of the COVID 19 pandemic in the last two years and the current conflict in Ukraine.

According to him, ‘’WOFA is focused on inspiring the build-out of transformational infrastructure projects across Africa, thus spurring what is, perhaps, the largest economic transformation in human history.

“The forum is essentially about helping to bridge the infrastructural gap across this great continent. It is determined to lead the continent’s infrastructure revolution through a Made in Africa initiative,” he said.

Haruna, who is an attorney and an Africa’s digital infrastructure transformation enthusiast, revealed that the Forum’s objective was to make a difference by achieving creative, innovative and sustainable financing solutions for Africa’s infrastructure transformation through collaboration with international development partners and major stakeholders in Africa’s infrastructure value chain delivery, including private and public sectors.

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