Infrastructure for Africa, from Africa

Bridge in Lesotho. African Development Bank President has encouraged Southern African Development Community leaders to use each of their countries’ own resources to fund much-needed infrastructure in the continent. Photo by: © John Hogg / World Bank / CC BY-NC-ND

Instead of looking for outside help, the president of the African Development Bank has advised African leaders to use each of their countries’ own resources to fund much-needed infrastructure in the continent.

“The time has come for us to look at our own internal capabilities and mobilise our own resources,” Donald Kaberuka said at the 32nd Southern African Development Community Heads of State and Government summit, which ended Saturday (Aug. 18).

Kaberuka proposed the creation of an infrastructure bond, which would come from SADC member countries. The proposal would require the countries to provide 5 percent of their foreign reserves to the bond, which can then be used to finance the construction of railroads, water systems, ports and power plants, the South African Government News Agency reports.

Kaberuka first pitched the bond two weeks ago at a Kenya Bankers Association event.

African leaders have yet to decide on the proposed funding mechanism, but the bond could be a welcome resource for the SADC countries’ Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan Vision 2027 that leaders initiated in 2007 and adopted at the summit.

The plan will serve as a framework to guide member states in setting up an “efficient and cost-effective trans-boundary infrastructure networks” in six sectors: ICT and postal, energy, transport, tourism, meteorology and water, as indicated in the summit’s final communique.

The plan aims to strengthen regional integration and promote economic growth among SADC countries via trade. Some of the proposed infrastructure projects under the master plan include a bridge and a power transmission line that would link Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Southern African News Features reports.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.