The African Leadership magazine recently organized an international forum on African leadership and was attended by the Malawian President, Mr. Lazarus Chakweras and Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, the President of African Development Bank (AfDB).
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who presented a keynote address during the event, charged the African leaders to be strong, have a sense of collective responsibility, as well as optimally harness the abundant domestic resources and the transparent management of the continent’s vast natural wealth.
He said, “The speed and quality of the economic recovery process from the pandemic will depend on our shared sense of collective responsibility and the financial capacity of developing countries to address immediate shocks, stabilize their economies, and invest in growing back.”
According to Dr. Adesina, African leaders have to contend with the serious infrastructural challenges impeding on economic growth as an annual estimate of between $64 and $108bn is required to finance the infrastructural gap.
In his words, “Moreover, tapping domestic sources of revenue will be essential to our economic recovery. Africa must grow by mobilizing domestic resources, especially by unlocking its over $1 trillion in pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, and insurance funds to help close the annual infrastructure financing gap estimated at $64-108 billion.”
“Africa will build back faster by also harnessing and better managing the revenue streams from its abundant natural resources, including minerals, metals, biodiversity, blue economy, forest resources, agriculture, and oil and gas, to boost domestic savings.”
- The good news is that a number of African countries have started exploring opportunities for tapping into private financing, creating and nurturing new strategic partnerships and alliances in infrastructural development and financing.
- This strategic shift has come about on the realization that scaling up financing from traditional sources alone would not be adequate to close the huge infrastructure gap.
- Also, there is evidence that those countries that have invested strategically in infrastructures are beginning to reap the benefits. It is therefore crucial for other countries in the continent to open up opportunities to attract new investors, as well as explore new mechanisms for financing infrastructures in their respective countries.