KIGALI, (Xinhua) --
Top regional bankers are calling on
governments to address Africa’s infrastructure
challenges stifling regional integration by among others
repackaging infrastructure projects to attract funding.
the Global African Investment Summit which closed in
Kigali on Tuesday, the bankers cautioned that the fruits
of integration will not be fully realized without proper
Muga, head of Power and Infrastructure Finance (East
Africa) at Standard Bank, pointed out that
infrastructure financing is most of the times held up by
the high risks associated with infrastructural projects.
he said governments spend 10 percent of the GDP on
infrastructure and the significant part of this goes
into transport, including roads.
comes to private sector financing infrastructure, we
tend to see that the gap between the expectations and
the reality is critical. There is therefore a need for
governments to restructure the packaging of many
projects that require financing from the private
sector,” said Muga.
Negatu, the regional director for Eastern Africa,
African Development Bank, said while the East African
Community seems better integrated on the continent, poor
transmission lines, low access to energy, poor air
transport, railways, and road networks are hampering
are able to get improved regional infrastructure we are
not going to achieve what we want,” he warned.
noted that high energy costs affect economic
integration, limiting productivity of industry in the
itself means that companies and industries in the region
are not able to reap benefits of the global value
chain,” he said.
faulted the inconsistent or lack of harmonized policies
and regulations to allow investments across the region.
different policy regimes and regulatory frameworks
between countries hence hindering investment, Negatu
said, calling for more friendly financial systems that
can allow companies to borrow money to invest in
barriers are also making it impossible for trade to
happen. Unless we change this, regional integration will
remain a wish,” said Negatu.
urged regional governments to put in place creative
financing mechanisms to address infrastructure
George, Head of Group Research at Ecobank, said only one
in four people in the COMESA region has access to energy
and some of the countries tend to use alternative
sources like hydro power which makes it complicated
especially when it comes to drought seasons.