The European Business Council for Africa

Moving On From a Year Like No Other 2020 was a year like no other. The impact of the pandemic has been acutely felt in infrastructure projects across Africa. Significant disruption to supply and restrictions on labor movement conspired to delay progress, and existing market volatility around commodity prices and government elections has been exacerbated by uncertainty. Previously reliable sources of project finance faltered and infrastructure investment in Africa fell sharply.

This period of turmoil notwithstanding, infrastructure remains key to unlocking the potential of Africa and market fundamentals show untapped opportunity and significant demand. The most recent numbers are not representative of ongoing investor interest in the region — there remains pivotal projects to be completed and value to be realized. 2020 represents a temporary global shock rather than a long-term localized trend.

But it is clear that shifting dynamics are beginning to play out, as the infrastructure gap grows and traditional sources of finance dry up. How infrastructure needs will be met is changing — with alternative finance stepping in where international banks are pulling back, DFIs adopting broader roles in channeling infrastructure capital and the idea of self-finance gaining momentum. These trends won’t take effect overnight, but are patterns of evolution that are set to emerge over the next decade. Wheels of change turn slowly in Africa, but they turn.

In this report, we draw on new data to explore the state of the market and the key drivers of change — the outlook for project finance in Africa, key players who will fund next generation infrastructure and how to maximize both commercial and community gains.

Please find full report here.