Financing trends 2014 - Other public sector financing

Non-ICA public sector funding commitments to develop Africa’s infrastructure totalled some $52.8bn in 2014. Of this, 65% of the commitments identified were budget allocations made by African national governments, in 42 countries.

It is important to note that there may be an element of double-counting, where (for example) allocations contain external funding from infrastructure financiers, including ICA members and others. Allocations may also partially fund activities that fall beyond the ICA definitions of infrastructure. Conversely, national government allocations may not present a country’s total public sector budget allocations if some of these are made at a subnational level – for example, by local governments or state utilities.

Total Non-ICA Funding in 2014

African national budgets for infrastructure development

The total value of identifiable infrastructure allocations from 42 African countries in 2014 amounted to $34.5bn. Of this $18.7bn (57%) was allocated to the transport sector, and 27 of the 42 countries allocated the biggest proportion of their infrastructure development commitments to this sector. Seven countries put water at the top of their agenda while five allocated most in favour of energy. In line with ICA members’ commitments, there has been a substantial increase in government allocations to multi-sector projects over the last three years.

(The methodology for establishing African national budgets has been refined compared with previous years, reducing – but not entirely removing – the risk of double counting whenever possible.)


At $3.1bn, Chinese lending to African infrastructure projects in 2014 was substantially lower than in each of the previous three years, when it averaged $13.9bn. The significant reduction in China’s commitments may indicate a recalibration of Chinese investments in Africa’s infrastructure. The Chinese economic slowdown and lower commodity prices may also have slowed the pace of Chinese investments.

Consistent with previous years, transport projects attracted the biggest share of China’s total commitments in 2014 – $2.1bn or 68%. Just over 15% of China’s 2014 commitments were towards the energy sector, 13% to ICT projects and nearly 4% to the water sector.

Arab Coordination Group

The Arab Coordination Group (ACG) committed almost $3.5bn to African infrastructure projects in 2014, up from $3bn in 2013. Consistent with previous years, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) was the biggest lender to infrastructure projects, committing almost $1.3bn, or about 37.4% of the group’s total to infrastructure.

Energy projects received the highest level of ACG commitments in 2014, with $1.6bn (48%). Transport projects received $1.2bn (34%) of while water projects received $621m (around 18%). ICT has never featured prominently in the ACG’s lending to the continent.

North African projects received the majority of funding from the ACG, with just over $2bn, or 58% of the group’s total. This is consistent with previous years. West Africa received $908m (26%) and East Africa $362m (11%), while commitments from the ACG to Central and Southern African Africa totalled $165m (5%).

Non-ICA member European funding

Investment by non-ICA member European DFIs in Africa totalled $1.3bn in 2014. Investment was not evenly spread across sectors, with energy the focus, at 68% of total commitments. 29% was committed to multi-sector projects (a significant increase from the previous year) and the remaining 3% was committed to ICT projects (down on the previous year). Like 2013, no investments were made in water or transport projects by non-ICA member European countries in 2014.

Some 55% of investments were made in Pan-African projects, including through private equity funds and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund. West Africa attracted 20% of financing from non-ICA European countries in 2014, Southern Africa (excluding South Africa) 11% and East Africa 10%. Commitments to North and Central Africa totalled 4%.

African regional development banks

Africa’s regional development banks committed $1.6bn to infrastructure projects across the continent in 2014, a decrease from 2013’s $2.2bn. The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) was the biggest contributor, committing a total of $978m in 2014. Of this, $789m was directed towards projects in South Africa, with the remaining funds committed to projects elsewhere in Southern Africa and in West Africa.

The West African Development Bank (BOAD) committed $447m in 2014 while the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) committed $116m.

Other funding sources

In 2014, loans from India to African infrastructure projects amounted to $424m, substantially less than in 2013 ($761m) and 2012 ($667m). All the loans were extended via lines of credit from the country’s Export-Import Bank. Indian funds went only to Central and West African countries. The majority of the funding was for energy projects ($287m). Funding for the transport sector dropped substantially, from $450m in 2013 to $90m in 2014.

Brazil’s development bank, Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES), committed $503.4m to African infrastructure projects in 2014. The bank lent $530m in 2012 but made no commitments in 2013. BNDES finance is extended only to Lusophone countries, where the majority of Brazil’s private sector investment is focused.

South Korea’s Export-Import Bank made loans to African infrastructure projects via its Economic Development Cooperation Fund, committing some $206m through two loans in 2014 (for transport projects in Egypt and Tanzania). This is higher than the amount committed in 2013 ($175m) but lower than the $677 committed in 2012. South Korea has consistently targeted transport projects (its 2013 loans going to road projects in Mozambique and Ethiopia).

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