Africa Prosperity Dialogues to unlock US$2.5tn for infrastructure development

The 2025 edition of the Africa Prosperity Dialogues has been launched with the aim to unlock investments of about US$2.5 trillion in road, rail, maritime, and aviation infrastructure to improve connectivity across the continent.

The three-day conference, to be held from Thursday, 30 January to Saturday, 1 February 2025, would be on the theme: ‘Delivering Africa’s Prosperity Through Infrastructure: Invest, Integrate, Connect.’

That is in line with the drive of the Network to unearth innovative ways of joining forces to bridge the continent’s infrastructure deficit and increase intra-continental trade.

The conference would be attended by Heads of States, business leaders, and the private sector players across Africa and other development partners from around the world.

Speaking at the launch of the conference, Mr Solomon Quaynor, the Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialisation at the African Development Bank (AfDB), highlighted the urgency with which Africa must raise capital to
address its infrastructural needs to accelerate economic development.

Mr Quaynor stated that the continent has about US$130 to US$170 billion infrastructure deficit.

He added that on a yearly basis, this infrastructure deficit also required a financing gap of US$70 to a US$110 billion, which is compounded by the goal to ensure that all infrastructure today is climate change resilient or compliant.

‘So, closing this gap remains the single important step we can take to structurally boost our economic development, make it more inclusive and competitive, and attain the Africa we want,’ Mr Quaynor said.

He stated that within Africa, there is about US$2.5 trillion in sovereign wealth, pension funds and life insurance companies that a percentage could be utilised to address the infrastructural challenges.

He, therefore, called for a collective effort to channel those funds into infrastructure development, with the Bank having taken the lead by creating institutions to offer credit that had catalysed some US$400
million in that regard.

Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, Minister of Finance, noted that infrastructure deficit continued to impede economic growth as inadequate networks of road, rail, air, and waterways made transport costs in Africa among the highest in the world.

He said the deficit, coupled with economic disparities, had pushed an estimated 546 million people into poverty on the continent, adding that the challenges required continental action and partnership to address them without fail.

‘We must redouble our efforts to invest in critical infrastructure projects, including transportation, energy, and digital connectivity, to unlock Africa’s full potential for trade and investment,’ Dr Amin Adam said.

Mr Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, Executive Chairman of Africa Prosperity Network, said the continent had reached a point in history, where unlocking prosperity, now more than ever, required prioritising investment in infrastructure.

Such infrastructure, he said would be a critical enabler in ‘connecting our people
through infrastructure and integrating our economies to create and spread opportunities and prosperity to every community.’

‘This is where we must now direct our collaborative efforts if we are serious about allowing Africans to do business across Africa and for our young people, who will build Africa, to see their future in Africa,’ he said.

Mr Otchere-Darko indicated that the 2025 conference would show what is being done, what has to be done, and what must be committed to in the areas of infrastructure, to facilitate the free movement of people, goods, and services.

Source: Ghana News Agency