Africa African Review African Review of Business and Technology Investment

Challenge: the project finance

Nicholas Newman African Review March 2016
The issue of project bankability

Sub-Saharan African country’s lack of basic infrastructure is a major constraint on doing business, transporting goods and people and output of energy-intensive industries. The largest infrastructure deficit occurs in power generation, power consumption and security of supply. Over 600 million people live without access to reliable and affordable electricity.   According to the World Bank, closing the infrastructure  deficit requires around $75 billion a year. Infrastructure investment is currently running at $40 billion, leaving a funding gap of  $35bn a year.


Shortage of capital has long been blamed for the state of Africa’s infrastructure but financial experts and investors claim that it is a lack of “bankable” projects rather than actual shortage of finance that is to blame. Money is available  for bankable projects, but in many cases, private investors are finding that apparently commercially viable projects are not structured in a way to suit them, being inhibited by government regulations, opaque, inconsistent  and long drawn out decision making and inadequate project preparation. Page 25

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