Africa urged to invest in infrastructure to boost growthBy TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – CLOSING Africa’s infrastructure gap is a top priority in order to put the continent on a path for double digit growth and sustainable development, a world-renowned academic has said.
“There is no choice, Africa needs 10 per cent per year of economic growth in the next 15 years,” said Professor of Economics, Jeffrey Sachs.
He said the most effective way to achieve this was to focus on large-scale investments in trans-national infrastructure projects in power, roads, broadband, and other core regional infrastructure needs.
Prof. Sachs was speaking on the side-lines of the Third Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) organized the event themed “Unlocking Public and Private Capital for African Infrastructure.”
Thousands of delegates have descended on Addis Ababa to set the new financing architecture for a new global partnership.
Its outcomes will also address the issue of means of implementation, referring to the ‘how’ the goals set out in the post-2015 development agenda can be achieved.
The NEPAD Agency has identified Africa’s most important infrastructure needs within the context of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), which provides the framework to implement 51 priority programmes and projects in the sectors of energy, transport, broadband and trans boundary water.
Chief Executive Officer of the NEPAD Agency, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, highlighted that Africa’s challenge was not a lack of resources, but a lack of bankable projects.
“We need to invest in the capacity to invest. It is about proposing structured projects,” said Mayaki.
Meanwhile, the NEPAD Agency, SDSN, UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Washington-based think tank, Brookings Institution, have agreed to set up a working group that will move Africa’s regional infrastructure financing agenda forward.
– CAJ News
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