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Insight into Infrastructure


Mthuli Ncube - Chief Economist and Vice President of the African Development Bank

"Africa is part of the global economic solution. If you’re an investor, where do you go after China and India? You have to go to Africa.”

“The lack of adequate infrastructure across Africa is currently holding back GDP growth by some 2 percent."

Admassu Tadesse - Executive Vice-President of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA)

“I think southern Africa has clearly made a huge commitment to regional integration and part of this is manifested in infrastructure. For example, in power, you see the creation of special purpose vehicles, such as the Southern African Power Pool – a regional vehicle for the trading of power between countries in the region. Another area receiving attention is cross-border movement, mainly of goods.”

Bobby Pittman - the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) vice president for infrastructure, private sector and regional integration.

“We don’t look at the infrastructure gap as a static thing – it’s this enormous growth story on the ground that has produced this gap, which is a demand gap."

Hela Cheikhrouhou - Director of the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department of the African Development Bank.

“The renewable potential in Africa is huge but we need to set priorities for all these renewable projects to be developed. Otherwise, because of African countries’ energy needs, they will be using more traditional technologies to fulfil their requirements."

Bruno Alves - Editor at InfrastructureInvestor.com, PEI.

“It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by negative statistics when assessing African infrastructure, and it’s just as easy to overlook that many of these same statistics are representative of a very real demand for infrastructure across the continent."

"There are plenty of obstacles to private sector participation in African infrastructure, the biggest of which, by far, is the need for institutional reform. Such reform needs to be taken seriously by African countries and has to be deep and far-reaching."

Bruno Wenn - Chairman of DEG

“Now, African governments can only get more [external] funds if they rehabilitate their roads, putting a lot of pressure on them to get things right."

"We need local banks to provide the sort of long-term financing required for infrastructure projects. And we need local resources to avoid getting bogged down in hedging currency risk."

Gad Cohen - Deputy managing director at InfraCo Africa

"Water is absolutely challenging for the private sector. The reasons are manifold. There is sensitivity on the part of governments to relinquish something to the private sector that is so fundamental. Furthermore, around ten years ago some governments tried to bring in more efficiency and increased tariffs and it was politically explosive. The cost equation is a big issue."

Jane Jamieson - Senior infrastructure specialist within IFC’s

“I wish we could move beyond seeing this as simply public versus private because, in reality, everything is in a range in between. In Africa, it’s not about big international companies coming in and doing big concessions, it’s about the public sector adapting experience from and working together with the private sector to produce more efficiency in service delivery."

Therese Mc Millan - Chief Planning Officer LA METRO

“There is a lack of understanding of how infrastructure is provided and maintained at a government level. People just think, ‘Why aren’t things changing?’."

Darryll Castle - Chief executive of PPC

“Dumping building products cheaply, extracting resources without local beneficiation or any other form of business that is purely profit-oriented cannot be construed as ‘good for Africa’, especially against the back of the continent’s critical needs: reducing the cost of energy and mobility, job creation for youth and women as a priority, and growing manufacturing capabilities and intra-Africa trade, among others."

Michael S. Burke - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer AECOM

“What’s needed is a giant leap forward — focusing the smartest minds, training and deploying more skilled workers and leveraging new digital tools to deliver a better future through infrastructure."

Dr Llewellyn B. Lewis - Principal consultant at BMI-BRSCU

“Our vision is that building is an engine for growth and wealth creation and property is a preferred investment. This is the narrative that we promote to the entire industry. If the industry doesn’t promote and show confidence in its future, then nobody will and the future may be captured by competing companies and industries."

Pietro Salini - Chief Executive at Salini Impregilo

“Those people who a century ago built something out of nothing - big infrastructure - had a sense of the future. It is something that is missing today. Back in that time, they would plant trees, build roads and dams and think about their children, to give them certainty in the future. Today some people tend to underestimate the impact that their choices will have on future generations."


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