Financing trends 2016 – Other public sector financing

Non-ICA public sector funding commitments to develop Africa’s infrastructure totalled $43.9bn in 2016. There was a small increase in African national budget allocations for infrastructure but reductions in reported Chinese funding and in private sector investment.

African national budgets for infrastructure development

Total identifiable infrastructure allocations across 46 African national government budgets came to $26.3bn in 2016. This compares with a restated total of $24bn across 44 countries, in 2015. The restated total has been reached by reducing the $28.4bn reported in 2015 by $4.4bn of budget allocations now identified as externally funded.

To avoid double counting and to provide data that is as accurate as possible, identifiable external funding has been removed. The possibility of double counting nevertheless remains in some countries where budget data does not itemise external and internal funding for specific projects or sectors.

Additional countries for which 2016 data has been captured are: the Republic of Congo, Niger, São Tomé and Príncipe, and the Seychelles. Infrastructure allocations identified in the 2015 national government budgets for Chad and Guinea-Bissau could not be identified for 2016 as detailed budget breakdowns were not available.

Reflecting priorities in previous years, transport accounted for the largest proportion (55.5%) of combined infrastructure budget allocations across Africa, totalling $14.6bn. Allocations to the water sector totalled $4.4bn (16.7%), while budget allocations to the energy sector in Africa declined substantially in 2016, to a total of $3.8bn (14.4%). This is likely to be due to interrelated global issues including low growth rates and the falling price of oil and other commodities. As in previous years, the ICT sector received the lowest amount of allocated spending across Africa, with $853m (3.2%). A further $2.7bn (10.2%) of African national budget commitments were for multi-sector projects or remained unallocated at the time of reporting.

National government budget allocations by sector


Chinese investments announced in 2016 totalled $6.4bn, less than a third of the $20.9bn reported in 2015 but more than double the $3.1bn reported in 2014.

Despite these fluctuations, financing levels averaged $10.1bn over 2014-2016, not far behind the $12bn average six-year trend for 2011-2016.

For the second year running, the energy sector received the most commitments, with $4.6bn compared to transport commitments of just over $1bn. The recent focus on energy contrasts starkly with data for 2011-2013, when China announced substantially more investments in transport than  energy.

Over the last six years (with the exception of 2015, when significant investments in Southern African energy and transport projects were announced) China made more commitments to East Africa than to any other region. While $9.9bn of Chinese funding for Southern Africa was announced in 2015, only $800m was announced in 2016.

No commitments to North Africa were announced in 2016, which is consistent with China’s sub-Saharan focus. It also tends not to invest heavily in the water and sanitation sector.

Arab Coordination Group

The Arab Coordination Group committed $5.5bn to African infrastructure projects in 2016, compared with $4.4bn in 2015 and $3.5bn in 2014.

Commitments by the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) amounted to $2.3bn, primarily for transport  and energy projects in North Africa. The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) committed $1.1bn in 2016, with West Africa, accounting for 91%. The IDB directed the highest proportion of its commitments towards transport.

The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) committed $1.1bn in 2016, with over 80% directed to North Africa. AFESD directed the highest proportion of its commitments to water projects.

The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) made a total commitment of $225.8m in 2016, significantly lower than its 2015 figure of $311.5m. 

The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) committed a total of $509.4m to infrastructure projects, with the greatest proportion directed towards North Africa. Commitments of $81m from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) in 2016 were split almost evenly between solar energy projects and rail transport.

La Banque Arabe pour le Développement Economique en Afrique (BADEA – Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa) committed $147.1m in 2016, with the greatest proportion targeted at the transport sector. 

In terms sector preferences, transport received the most in 2016, with $1.4bn of total sector-allocated commitments. This compares with almost $2.1bn in 2015.  Energy commitments declined in 2016 to just under $1.3bn while support for the water sector increased from $378m in 2015 to $1bn in 2016.

Non-ICA Member European Funding

Commitments by non-ICA member European DFIs totalled $392m in 2016, a significant decrease on 2015 ($876m), and only 30% of the $1.3bn committed in 2014. 

Commitments were not evenly spread across sectors, with energy accounting for 75% of the total ($295m), transport 13% ($50m) and ICT 12% ($47m).  There were no reported water sector commitments in 2016. Commitments to renewable energy projects featured strongly in non-ICA member European funders’ portfolios for 2016.

North Africa accounted for 27% of total commitments in 2016, the largest share of any region, followed by East Africa (18%), West Africa (17%) and Central Africa (11%). Of total commitments, some 15.8% were directed at pan-African initiatives.

The Netherlands’ FMO and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) dominated non-ICA European 2016 commitments, accounting for 61% and 27%, respectively. In 2015, EBRD provided 73% and FMO 13% of all commitments.

Non-ICA European commitments to infrastructure by sector

Non-ICA European commitments to infrastructure by region

African Regional Development Banks

Four non-ICA member regional development banks (RDBs) reported data for 2016: Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement (BOAD, West African Development Bank), ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), Trade and Development Bank (TDB, formerly PTA Bank) and East African Development Bank (EADB).

Together, these banks committed $924m, more than double the $419m reported in 2015. Of 2016 commitments, around 90% went to energy and transport projects. West Africa received 65% of all commitments and Central Africa 25%. All support was provided by loans. ICA member DBSA once more provided the most support of all RDBs with $1.2bn of both commitments and disbursements.

Other funding sources


The Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank India) committed $1.2bn to African infrastructure projects in 2016, more than double its $524m of commitments in 2015. The largest portion of commitments went to transport ($513m) followed by energy ($422m) and water ($262m) projects.


Brazil’s Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES) reported to the ICA that it made no new commitments to Africa’s infrastructure in 2016

South Korea

The Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) committed $432m to four projects in the transport ($242m) and water ($190m) sectors in 2016, compared with commitments of $81m in 2015 and $206m in 2014. 

The New Development Bank

Established by the five Brics countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - the New Development Bank (NDB) made its first commitment to African infrastructure in 2016 with a $180m loan for an energy sector project in South Africa.

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