How can US companies help Africa's infrastructure?

7 August 2009

American companies should be encouraged to look at the practice of building private rail, power and port assets in Africa.

This is the opinion of president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, Rwanda's leader Paul Kagame, Botswana's president Seretse Khama Ian Khama and leader of Senegal Abdoulaye Wade.

Following Barack Obama's visit to the region, they issued a statement explaining Africa wants collaborators to work with the continent - rather than patrons working for it.

They noted private capital flows had helped fund needed infrastructure developments, but there remains an annual $40 billion shortfall for financing this area.

It was asserted: "The deficit can be quickly addressed by catalysing private partnerships to raise equity finance and by increasing funding to companies that want to invest."

They concluded US companies should change the practice of building infrastructure assets that are detached from Africa's own sparse network.

During Barack Obama's first visit to Africa since taking office, he told parliament in Ghana that good governance was crucial for the country's development.

Categories: Transport, Energy

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