Other public sector financing


Chinese announced investments in Africa bounced back in 2017 to $19.4bn compared with $6.4bn in 2016. In 2015 investments by China amounted to $20.9bn. This brings the seven-year average of Chinese investments in Africa’s infrastructure to $13bn per annum.

Difficulties remain in confirming Chinese investments. The figure of $19.4bn for 2017 may be an under-estimate. Major Chinese investments not reported, because of a lack of financial information, include projects undertaken by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), which plays a key role in the design and construction of infrastructure projects in Africa. Details of financing for CRBC contracts are rarely published.

Chinese commitments by sector, 2012-2017

As in previous years, the energy sector received the most commitments, with $9.bn, followed by transport ($3.4bn), water ($1.8bn) and ICT ($1bn). However, over $4bn of funding commitments were either for multi-sector projects, or the target sectors could not be identified.

Nearly 60% of China’s commitments in 2017 were for infrastructure developments in West Africa ($11.5bn). Southern Africa (including RSA) and East Africa received $2.8bn and $2.7bn respectively, while for the first time since 2014 China made commitments to projects in North Africa, totalling $1.5bn. Commitments to Central Africa totalled $0.9bn.

Chinese commitments by region, 2012-2017

Arab Coordination Group

The Arab Coordination Group (ACG) committed $3bn to African infrastructure projects in 2017, compared with $3.8bn in 2016 and $4.4m in 2015.

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) committed $597m in 2017, significantly lower than its 2016 figure of $1.1bn. 86.8% of the funding was directed towards West Africa, with the remaining 13.2% dedicated to North Africa. The highest proportion of IDB’s commitments ($292.3m, 49%) targeted energy projects.

The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) made total commitments of $180.9m in 2017, compared with $225.8m in 2016. In 2017, OFID’s commitments were spread across the continent, while half of the new funding was directed towards the water and sanitation sector.

Commitments by the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD)  amounted to $97m in 2017, compared with the $2.3bn committed in 2016. Over 90% of the funding was committed to West Africa, while 79% of the total funding was directed to transport projects. 

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) committed $449m in 2017, significantly higher than its 2016 figure of $81m. Nearly 90% of its commitments in 2017 were allocated to transport, primarily in North Africa.

La Banque Arabe pour le Développement Economique en Afrique (BADEA – Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa) (BADEA – Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa) committed $119m in 2017. The largest commitment (61%) was made to West Africa and, as in previous years, BADEA directed most funding (63%) towards transport.

The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) committed a total of $500m, close to its 2016 commitments of $509m. In line with 2016, the greatest proportion (60%) was directed towards North Africa. KFAED committed $250m towards water projects in 2017, the largest commitment made by the ACG for this sector.

In 2017 The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) (AFESD) financed $1bn or 35% of ACG’s commitments to infrastructure projects. Of AFESD’s commitments, 77% was directed towards North Africa, and the remaining 23% to East Africa. Two-thirds of the funding was committed to the energy sector.

ACG sector preferences reflected those of 2016. Transport received the highest proportion of total commitments in 2017, at $1.3bn (42%). However, support for both the energy and water sectors declined in 2017, to £1.1bn (38%) and $593m (20%) respectively.

Arab Co-ordination Group (ACG) commitments, by member, 2013-2017

Non-ICA Member European Funding

Commitments to African infrastructure development by non-ICA member European development finance institutions (DFIs) totalled $1.6bn in 2017, a significant increase on $392m committed in 2016. 

Energy accounted for more than half of the 2017 commitments made ($894m), a significant increase compared to 2016 ($294m). Investments in transport accounted for $500.7m, ten times the total committed in 2016. Water commitment totalled $208.3m – there were none in 2016. Commitments to ICT fell dramatically in 2017, to $1m from $47m in 2016. North Africa accounted for over 90% ($1.4bn) of total commitments in 2017.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Netherlands’ FMO again dominated non-ICA European DFI 2017 commitments, accounting for 83% and 12% respectively. Finland, Norway, Austria and Denmark made up the remaining 5%.

Non-ICA European commitments to infrastructure by sector, 2017

Non-ICA European commitments to infrastructure by region, 2017

African Regional Development Banks

Three non-ICA member regional development banks reported financing data in 2017: Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement (BOAD – West African Development Bank), the Trade and Development Bank (TDB, formerly PTA Bank) and ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID).

Finance committed by these banks totalled $538m, significantly lower than the $924m reported in 2016. West Africa received 86% of finance committed with Southern Africa receiving the remaining 14%. Transport projects received the most with $271m, energy projects received $208m, water projects $34m and multi-sector projects received $25m. All support was provided through loans.

DBSA – which is both an African regional development bank and an ICA member – committed $497m to Africa’s infrastructure in 2017. The majority of this ($381m) targeted the transport sector.

Other funding commitments


India committed just over $700m to infrastructure projects in 2017 compared with $1.2bn in 2016.  This includes a $500m line of credit to a company in Mauritius, which will enable it to invest alongside public sector entities in infrastructure projects in Mauritius. The remaining investment relates to power transmission lines in Cameroon and Mauritania.

South Korea

The Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) committed $10m in 2017, all to transport and port infrastructure projects in Senegal. This compares to $432m committed in 2016.


While a Turkish company was awarded contracts in 2017 worth over $3bn for railway infrastructure development, there is no evidence yet of funding for the work from the Turk Exim Bank. Funding may be made available by the African Development Bank and other financiers

New Development Bank

The New Development Bank (NDB), the multilateral development bank established by the BRICS states, reported no commitments to Africa in 2017. It reported its first commitment to Africa’s infrastructure in 2016 with a $180m loan to the South African power sector.


Africa50, the infrastructure investment platform established by AfDB, has undertaken to invest $8m to help fund solar power projects in Egypt. 

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