LIVING AFRICA FORUM INFRASTRCUTURE
According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), the infrastructure deficit in Africa leads to an increase in the cost of production and services, a drop in business competitiveness, and a negative impact on the flow of Foreign Direct Investment to the continent. All this influences the rate of economic growth and social development on the continent. The African Development Bank also estimates Africa's infrastructure financing needs at USD 170 billion a year between now and 2025. The financing gap is estimated at 108 billion dollars per year.
"In Africa, infrastructure tends to be concentrated in urban areas. Rural areas are left by the wayside. So we need to make sure that we have high-density infrastructure in rural areas and that food and agri-businesses can set up in these areas and create a new economy, which will enable these rural areas to emerge from economic poverty and become areas of economic prosperity," emphasised the President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina. It has therefore become vital and urgent for Africa to develop its infrastructure in all areas.
Despite appreciable efforts by ECOWAS, UEMOA, CEMAC, CEAC, EAC and other key players to promote infrastructure investment, the state of the regional infrastructure sectors and their contribution to the free trade area in Africa remains very modest.
The Africa Infrastructure Forum (AI Forum) in Ouagadougou is a timely response to this need.
The forum, which will be attended by several Heads of State, Heads of Government, infrastructure ministers, transport ministers, supervisory bodies and departments, builders, contractors and managers of land, port and airport infrastructure, suppliers of public works equipment and materials, design and engineering firms, multilateral organisations, logistics operators, financial backers, strategy and legal consultants, banks and insurance companies, private investors, and so on. The aim of the conference is to examine the financing needs of infrastructure in Africa, and to advocate the mobilisation of these resources as part of a dynamic involving the public and private sectors, in order to speed up the construction of major projects with a particular impact on the African Free Trade Area.
It will also be an opportunity for Burkina Faso, like other African countries, to present its major infrastructure projects to a range of investors with the necessary capabilities, and to promote the country on the international stage.