The meeting was graced by President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy Minister of Finance Dr. Patricia Nyanga Laverley among others.
Africa50’s investor base is currently composed of 25 African countries of which Sierra Leone is shareholder in the African Development Bank (ADB), the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), and Bank Al-Maghrib, with over US$800 million in committed capital.
In his keynote address at the Africa50 General Shareholders meeting President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta said for support of bankable projects in energy, transport, ICT, water and sanitation provide unprecedented opportunities for private sector participation, stating that the private sector must step up and help close the infrastructure gap on the African continent.
Mr. Kenyatta disclosed that Kenya would double its current shareholding investment in Africa50 to US$ 100 million maintain that they should have the confidence to trust and invest in their own infrastructure
“Let us grow our partnership and make Africa50 a success” he urged; adding that statics provided by the African Development Bank (ADB) shows that the continent’s infrastructure funding requirements stand at close to US$ 170 billion a year, leaving a financing gap of US$ 68-180 billion.
According to the ADB President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Africa50 Akinwumi Adesina, Africa needs to work with speed and urgency because the people expect nothing else.
Mr. Adesina said that the importance of tackling factors that inhabit private sector infrastructure investments, include high cost of financing, weak regulations, lack of cost reflective tariffs low profitability and weak regulatory frameworks for public-private partnerships.
“Africa requires new models of financing infrastructure” Adesina said; adding that Africa must work smart to attract greater levels of investment financing for infrastructure development in Africa.
“Globally there is approximately a US$ 120 trillion pool of savings and private equity; Africa must creatively attract some of this into the continent” he said.
Private sector infrastructure financing in Africa according to Adesina remains low averaging US$ 6 billion per year in 2016 the figure dipped to US$ 2.6 billion.
In response to Africa’s infrastructure finance deficit, the ADB has launched the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) set to take place in South Africa in November 2018.
Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr. Patricia Nyanga Laverley deputized the Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa in demonstration of the confidence he reposes in her to represent Sierra Leone at such a high level meeting. It further demonstrates Dr. Laverly’s grasp of financial issues and professionalism.