Who is financing Africa’s infrastructure development?

Commitments to Africa’s infrastructure operations have remained constant with regard to the 3-year rolling averages for 2017-2019 and 2018-2020. 

Several bilateral and multilateral organizations became ICA members in resulted in a substantial increase in the commitment level for that group in 2019. At the aggregate level, this was more than offset by a  marked decrease in commitments from other public sources including a sharp reduction in commitments from China from a 2018 level of $25.7bn to $6.7bn in 2019 and $6.5bn in 2020, reflecting the decision by the Chinese authorities to reduce their investments in Africa because of concerns about the external debt position of African countries.

The decrease of $1bn in commitments by the private sector between 2018 and 2019 results from a sharp decline of $2.8bn in public-private projects, which was only partly offset by an increase in private sector commitments to projects without the support of governments.

There was a sizeable resurgence in private sector investment in 2020. African Governments provided the largest share (41%) of the investment in 2019 and 2020. It should be noted that no adjustments to the approved 2020 budget allocations could be found, for any country, to reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The implication is that the allocations for African national governments include a level of overestimation.

  • After a surge in 2019, ICA members’ commitments in 2020 stabilized at 22% of total commitments, slightly higher than their 20% share in 2018.
  • Commitments by the private sector reached $19bn in 2020, the highest level on record.

Reported and identified financing flows into Africa’s infrastructure, 2019-2020

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