In 2018, ICA members committed $20.2bn to Africa’s infrastructure, an increase over the $19.4bn average of the three previous years.Funding for energy operations amounted to $10.2bn, close to half of total commitments, establishing the energy sector as the sector receiving the largest share of ICA member financing in the 2014-2018 period, with the exception of 2017, when the transport sector had received the largest share of financing.The level of financing for the transport sector, $3.9bn was 40% lower than the $6.6bn average for 2015-2017. The financing of $5.1bn in the water and sanitation sector in 2018 represents around 25% of total commitments, in line with its representation in 2016 and 2017. The ICT sector accounted for $503m in commitments and multi-sector operations for $527m.*
Commitments by region show that West Africa, at $6bn, received the largest share of 2018 commitments (30%), with almost half of the commitments targeted the energy sector. East Africa accounted for 18% of total commitments at $3.7bn. Commitments to projects in Central Africa at $2.1bn were 10% of the total and reflected a sharp increase in the energy sector and a substantial decrease in the transport sector. The level of commitments for operations in North Africa, at $3.5bn in 2018, was 17% of the total, in 2018. The overall decrease is the result of reductions in transport, energy, and ICT.
Only the water and sanitation sector saw an increase in commitments. Commitments to the Southern Africa region (excluding RSA), at $1.3bn were significantly lower than the $2.3bn annual average reported for 2015-2017. Commitments to projects in RSA, at $1.7bn, were much higher than the $1.1bn average of the three preceding years and was driven by the $1.1bn targeted to energy projects.
*This amount does not include commitments by the EC and the UK. For reference, the EC has historically committed over $1bn on average per year in the 2012-2016 period. The UK had committed $623m in 2017 and $569m in 2016 and has indicated that they expected their 2018 commitments to be in line with their 2017 commitments.
ICA members' commitment Trends by sector ($bn), 2014-2018
$12.1bn were disbursed by ICA members in 2018, slightly higher than the $10.9bn reported in 2017. In line with past years, the largest share of total disbursements, 38%, was directed at the energy sector. Disbursements were highest for West Africa at $2.7bn, followed by $2.5bn in East Africa and $2.2bn in North Africa.
Since 2014, the overall level of commitments by ICA members has remained fairly steady, ranging from $18.6bn in 2016 to $19.8bn in 2015, with a yearly 2014-2017 average of $19.3bn. Infrastructure investments are lumpy thus resulting in significant year to year fluctuations in commitments at the sector level, particularly in energy and transport. But no sector shows a clear increasing or decreasing trend in financing. The average annual level of commitments by sector for the 2015-2017 period is as follows: transport: $6.6bn; water and sanitation: $4.2bn; energy: $7.4bn; ICT: $0.5bn, and multi-sector: $0.6bn.
ICA members’ commitments Trends by region ($bn), 2014-2018
At $3.9bn, 2018 commitments to the transport sector were less than half their 2017 level, $8.1bn, the highest level of commitments for transport operations ever recorded since ICA started gathering such data in 2010. Setting 2017 aside, they were also lower than the $5.1bn average for the 2014-2016. The energy sector, at $10.2bn, saw a substantial increase in commitments in 2018 over its $5.8bn 2017 level. Commitments to the water and sanitation sector, at $5.1bn, reflected an increase over the 2017 level of $4.6bn and the 2016 level of $4.7bn. Commitments in ICT, at $503m in 2018, were slightly less than the $618m reported in 2017. Commitments targeting multi-sector operations were small ($527m), essentially the same level as in 2017 ($528m).
Commitments by region in 2018 show wide variations over 2017: substantial increases were allocated to RSA ($1.2bn), to the West Africa region ($1.1bn), and to multi-regional operations ($1.1bn), whereas the Southern Africa region received significantly less ($2.4bn), and East and North Africa regions received lesser amounts, $404m and $188m respectively. The level of commitments to Central Africa increased slightly by $200m.