Panel discussion: The infrastructure deficit and opportunities in Africa

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Introductory presentation: Ebrima Faal (Regional Director, African Development Bank)

Panellists: Dr Kayode Fayemi (Governor, Ekiti State, Nigeria), Elias Masilela (CEO, PIC), Keith Matthews (GM SSA, BT Global Services), and
Rick Angiuoni (Africa Director, US Exim Bank), Siyabonga Gama (CEO, Transnet Freight Rail)

  • There is no doubt that one of the greatest factors of underdevelopment and a constraint to doing business in Africa is weakvinfrastructure – transport, power and communications being key. Conversely, infrastructure development is also a key driver of growth across the continent. In 2009, the Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic, a study of infrastructure across 24 Sub-Saharan countries estimated that US$93 billion would be needed annually over the next decade to develop the well functioning infrastructure required for Africa to realize its true economic potential.
  • The funding gap has closed to some extent over the past few years, and the pipeline of quality infrastructure-related projects is growing. Nevertheless, finding suitable financing models remains a challenge, while the execution gap is arguably an even greater challenge. What is happening to bridge the infrastructure gap in Africa? What are the key priorities and what are some of the success stories that we can learn from? How do we accelerate infrastructure delivery in Africa, and what are the key opportunities that potential investors should be focused on?