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AfDB urges investments in infrastructure

Jul 08 2013 20:08 Reuters

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Geneva - Africa should prioritise infrastructure investment and inclusion, if it is to stop its growth from flattening, the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) said on Monday.

The AfDB's President Donald Kaberuka said the body still projects growth of 5.8% this year for sub-Saharan Africa, far ahead of rates for the developed world, making it the second fastest growing region after Asia.

Its forecast has not been modified following the US Federal Reserve's talk of exiting its stimulus programme, he said, without ruling out a future downwards revision.

"At this stage our belief is that the big risks we face (to growth) are on the infrastructure side and the inclusion side," he told said on the sidelines of the World Trade Organization meeting in Geneva.

"The issue of inclusion is important because domestic demand has played a big role in the current growth of the continent. So the more you spread the benefits of growth the more sustainable it becomes," he added.

The World Bank said in a report in April that consumer spending accounted for more than 60% of Sub-Saharan Africa's buoyant economic growth as many Africans strive to exit poverty and become middle class.

But growth is being capped by frequent power cuts and insufficient transport facilities for industry, Kaberuka said.

AfDB members agreed in May to create a huge fund to finance infrastructure in Africa which could reach $50bn.

Kaberuka said he expected the fund, called "Africa 50", to be launched by the end of the year. He added that over the past five years the bank had committed $12bn to infrastructure projects.


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afdb  |  africa  |  infrastructure
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