Public-Private Infrastructure Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa

Stuck Near Ten Billion: Public-Private Infrastructure Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa
Nancy Lee and Mauricio Cardenas Gonzalez
CGD Policy Paper 251, février 2022

Loin d'être négligeable, l'apport de cette recherche est néanmoins ambigu. Pourquoi avoir limité l'analyse aux seules opérations dans lesquelles rentre un financement privé ? Quel est l'impact d'une telle prémisse a priori discutable sur une analyse plus globale des financements et du rôle dans l'absolu des tous les acteurs ? Moins important peut-être : pourquoi restreindre le continent africain à sa seule partie sub-saharienne ? Est-ce dire que le problème du financement et celui du rôle de la Chine (directement interrogé) seraient si différents que les conclusions pourraient en être changées ? Ne serait-ce pas alors un élément des plus intéressants?

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Key takeaways

  • Overall, total domestic and external finance for financially closed infrastructure projects with private participation averaged $9 billion annually for all of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) over the period 2007–2020.
  • Finance for such transactions rose even during the pandemic from $6.4 billion in 2019 to $9.4 billion in 2020, though this increase would have been largely driven by commitments made prior to the pandemic.
  • External sources of finance were significantly more important than local sources.
  • Bilateral development finance institutions (DFIs) and international private banks were larger funders than multilateral development banks (MDBs).
  • Even after the launch of the 2015 “billions to trillions” vision,1 total MDB finance for such transactions averaged only $1.4 billion per year from 2016–2020—a small increase from a very low base in earlier years of the period.
  • Total average annual private finance fell to $3.7 billion in 2016–2020, from $5.1 billion in the earlier years of the period.
  • Among MDBs, the African Development Bank was the largest funder of publicprivate transactions, likely a surprise to some who would have expected the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) or the International Development Association (IDA) to rank first.
  • Chinese DFIs provided 2.5 times more finance over the period than all other bilateral DFIs combined.
  • The US DFI finance was an order of magnitude smaller than China’s finance, and no upward trend is yet evident.
  • Local banks dominated local private finance for infrastructure, but local institutional investors and debt and equity funds began to emerge as more important sources in 2019 and 2020.
  • Investment in renewable energy from both private and public sources (including Chinese DFIs) outpaced investment in fossil fuel infrastructure, but MDBs continued to make significant fossil fuel investments.
  • Investment in water and social infrastructure sectors together accounted for only about 5 percent of infrastructure finance in 2020.

In sum, we see no sustained upward trends in overall SSA infrastructure public-private finance volumes, MDB finance, private finance, the share or volume of local private finance, participation by international institutional investors, or finance from bilateral DFIs.