SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA HAS A NEED FOR WELL-CONCEIVED PUBLIC-PRIVATE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE INFRASTRUCTURE SPACE. CURRENTLY, ROAD ACCESS IS JUST 34% IN THE REGION, AND TWO-THIRDS OF PEOPLE ACROSS THE CONTINENT HAVE NO ACCESS TO POWER. AS A RESULT OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE GAP, 2.6% OF GDP GROWTH IS LOST ANNUALLY.
Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) have joined forces to produce a comprehensive report detailing the steps that governments and private investors need to take to overcome the special challenges of investment in the region and to achieve the immense rewards—both social and monetary—of completing successful infrastructure projects there.
Drawing on ten years of hands-on institutional experience in the field, the authors identify lessons in best practices for both governments and investors. Governments must recognize the advantages of public-private partnerships, clarify standards and laws, devise suitable fiscal incentives, formulate integrated infrastructure plans, establish dispute resolution mechanisms, and more. Private investors must adopt a holistic entrepreneur/engineer approach to such projects, taking the long view toward project success, developing deep knowledge of target markets and local dynamics, and recognizing that community engagement is a core priority.
The report also provides ten case studies of major public-private infrastructure projects in the region—including such landmark efforts as the Cenpower Kpone IPP in Ghana, the Lake Turkana Wind Power farm in Kenya, and the Henri Konan Bédié Bridge in Côte d’Ivoire—examining how each evolved, analyzing what went right and what went wrong, and identifying lessons to be learned from each experience.
The future of Sub-Saharan Africa will be shaped in part by the success of appropriate efforts to upgrade its infrastructure. Done properly, such projects will bring tremendous benefits to the people of the region, as well as to those who plan and execute each effort to the lasting advantage of all interested parties.