The World Bank has approved International Development Association (IDA) financing worth $425 million for infrastructure development in Eastern and Southern Africa. It is reported that the Regional Infrastructure Financing Facility project will provide funds to private firms in energy, social and logistics sectors.
This will be the first regional infrastructure financing project in Africa. It appears that Eastern and Souther Africa lack robust infrastructure in the power sector. It appears that power generation in the region is lower than the installed capacity of 20 percent to 30 percent due to various factors.
These factors include drought, lack of maintenance and frequent loss of electricity, a local media report said. Power deficits have the potential to cost 2 percent of GDP growth in most countries.
Deborah Wetzel, World Bank Director of Regional Integration for sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Africa, said in a report, “The new operation will help address the long-term infrastructure funding gap through a regional approach focused on private financing, with the objective to mobilize about $975 million of private finance in addition to the funds provided by IDA. This requires a broader approach, including an enabling environment for private capital mobilisation, sound public debt management, bankable projects, long-term finance, and risk mitigation.”
Previously, it was reported that the World Bank will lend $50 billion to sub-Saharan Africa to build its presence on the continent. The Word Bank said in a statement, “These financing volumes are almost double what the region delivered 10 years ago.” In fact, its lending is divided among 48 countries, media reports said.