Who is financing Africa’s infrastructure development?

Overall commitments to Africa’s infrastructure development from all sources increased to $81.6bn in 2017 from $66.9bn in 2016*, a rise of 22%. The main factor driving the higher commitments in 2017 was an increase of $13bn in identified Chinese investments, from $6.4bn in 2016 to $19.4bn in 2017.

African state spending on infrastructure, which for the first time in this report includes sub-national state spending, increased from $30.7bn in 2016 to $34.4bn in 2017. Figures for 2016 have been adjusted to include this identified sub-national spending.

Commitments of $19.7bn from ICA members were reported in 2017 – an increase of 5% from the $18.6bn reported in 2016. This represents one of the highest commitments since the ICA began collecting data, only slightly below the 2015 high of $19.8bn. However, at the time the 2017 financing trends report was completed, not all ICA members reported data from 2017, so this figure is likely to rise once the data has been made available.

Reported and identified financing flows into Africa’s infrastructure, 2017

Financing flows 2017

Chinese funding jumped substantially in 2017, but the amounts of identified funding from China vary considerably from year to year. The $19.4bn of Chinese funding in 2017 is similar to the $20.9bn announced in 2015. However, it is substantially higher than the $6.4bn and $3.1bn reported in 2016 and 2014 respectively.

The upward trend of Arab Coordination Group commitments in recent years appears to have halted. After committing $4.4bn in 2015 and $5.5bn in 2016, commitments dropped to $3bn in 2017.

Commitments from non-ICA European DFIs and multilaterals increased significantly, from $393m in 2016 to $1.6bn in 2017. In 2017, private sector funding – as reported on the World Bank’s Private Participation in Infrastructure (PPI) Project Database – reached a low of $2.3bn.

* Due to the availability of new data, the original 2016 figure of $62.5bn, published in the ‘Infrastructure Financing Trends in Africa 2016’ report, has been updated in this report to $66.9bn.

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