African States Spending

Improved methodology introduced for the 2017 Infrastructure Financing Trends in Africa report captures spending by African governments not only at a federal level but also at a sub-national level (e.g. by local governments and state utilities), where it can be identified this spending has not already been accounted for in federal budgets.  To ensure consistency, this improvement required a restatement of 2016 data to include the same sub-national data.

In 2017, total identifiable infrastructure capital expenditure allocations for 47 African national government budgets amounted to $34.3bn. This compares with a revised $30.7bn for 49 countries in 2016, an increase of nearly 12%.  The revised 2016 total was reached by increasing the $ figure by $4.4bn of newly identified government budget allocations.  The revision includes the addition of budget data for Central African Republic, Chad and Equatorial Guinea, and additional state sub-national spending identified for the Republic of South Africa.


Consistent with previous years, transport accounted for the largest proportion of infrastructure budget allocations, claiming 58% of all African state spending in 2017 – a higher proportion than the 53% of Africa’s budgets allocated to transport in the previous year. Compared to 2016, spending on transport sector development grew by 23% in 2017.


Allocations to water and sanitation projects amounted to $5.9bn in 2017, accounting for 19% of total allocations, thus making it the sector with the second highest contributions to 2017 total infrastructure spending across all sectors. This is minor decrease from the water allocations for 2016 ($6.1bn).


The share of the energy sector in overall infrastructure spending by African governments in 2017 is 18%, thus making it slightly lower than the share for the water sector. Following a 20.8% decline in energy sector spending in 2016, budget allocations to energy infrastructure development rose by 27% in 2017, to $5.6bn from $4.4bn in 2016.


ICT projects received the lowest state budget allocations across all sectors with $600m committed. This is 33% less than the (unusually high) $894m of ICT allocations reported in 2016, but is somewhat consistent with commitments in previous years.

Multisector and unallocated budget allocations have been merged for the 2017 report, to facilitate consistent trend analysis. In 2017 there was a 25.5% drop compared with 2016 in allocations to these categories.

National government budget allocations by sector, 2013-2017

Subscribe to @ISSUE

Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter to get up-dates from the ICA

Subscribe now

You are currently offline. Some pages or content may fail to load.