Part IV – Building the bridges Africa needs: infrastructure and finance
If Africa is to make the transition from high growth to transformative growth described in
this report, it must overcome three major obstacles.
The first is a lack of access to formal financial services. Two-thirds of adult Africans do
not have a bank account, let alone access to savings, credit or insurance. The second
obstacle is the weakness of Africa’s infrastructure: its poor roads and ports, its lack of
electricity, sanitation and water. The third is the lack of funds for public investment. To
close the region’s vast deficits in infrastructure, governments must mobilize the tax
revenues and external finance needed to underpin public investment.
Overcoming these three deficits is a condition not just of rising prosperity but also of
shared prosperity. Agriculture is the key to the kind of growth Africa needs, but no sector
suffers more from financial exclusion, infrastructural weaknesses and lack of public
This part of the report examines why Africa finds it so difficult to attract investment for
infrastructure programmes that offer high returns, in a world awash with liquidity. It also
shows that while external finance such as foreign direct investment and eurobonds can
play an important supplementary role, no country can afford to neglect the development
of domestic revenues and the accompanying social contract between governments and
While remittances play an important and increasing role in development financing, many
of the benefits are lost because of high charges.
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Chaired by Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Africa
Progress Panel (the Panel) includes distinguished individuals from the private and public
sectors, who advocate on global issues of importance to Africa and the world.
For further information, please contact
Edward Harris - email@example.com
(m) +41 79 87 38 322 and (w) +41 22 919 7536
www.africaprogresspanel.org and www.facebook.com/africaprogresspanel
@africaprogress and #GrainFishMoney