Africa’s infrastructure investment gap, according to an estimate by the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, exceeds $100 billion a year, affecting the living conditions of Africans and the continent’s global competitiveness.

To address the infrastructure challenge prevalent in Africa, the AfDB announced the approval of its first strategic framework for the formation of public-private partnerships to foster the development and operation of infrastructure in the second largest continent. of the world.

In rolling out the strategic framework, the bank expressed its commitment to engage customers and partners and to engage in dialogue with member countries to identify priority areas.

To achieve its development ambitions, the bank said its public-private partnership strategic framework is based on three pillars aimed at providing an end-to-end solution to member countries, from upstream to downstream.

The first pillar, which covers upstream support, aims to ensure an enabling environment and capacities in member countries. The second pillar aims to provide interim support, in particular project preparation and transaction advisory services to help structure projects through to financial close, while the third pillar involves downstream support to fund the implementation. implementation of investment projects.

To help pillars one and two, the AfDB said it would create a special dedicated instrument, known as the Africa Public-Private Partnership Development Fund.

The strategic framework streamlines Bank-wide public-private partnership efforts across various departments and provides guidance on financial instruments and resources.

It also recommends a selective approach to operations and markets, based on the bank’s comparative advantage in Africa’s infrastructure sector, its convening power on the continent and the level of maturity of different markets, respectively.

AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina said the framework would form the foundation of the bank’s commitments in the infrastructure sector.

“This highly anticipated strategic framework will go a long way in enabling the bank to provide much-needed assistance in the development and implementation of public-private partnerships in our regional member countries, and we look forward to its success,” he said. he noted.

Solomon Quaynor, Vice President, Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization at the AfDB, explained that the framework would enable African countries to increase private sector investment in the economic sector, including transport, energy, ICT and the social sector, including health and education. .

Quaynor added that it would also ensure better debt sustainability and management, innovation and efficiency, and improve the competitiveness of their economies.

According to him, the current global and African context, the widening infrastructure gap and the limited fiscal space, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, among other factors, constitute a strong argument for the AfDB to intensify its support. to public-private partnerships, in addition to private sector investments in economic and social infrastructure, and provides a foundation for the bank to become a leading voice and financier for public-private projects in Africa.