Africa needs bankable projects to attract investment

by Trust Matsilele 0

Philippe Prosper, vice president of Global Clients Services told CNBC Africa on the side-lines of the World Bank and IMF annual meetings in Washington, DC that financing was not the major problem the region was facing.

“Infrastructure challenges to me are not an issue of financing, if you have good bankable projects financing will come,” said Prosper.

(READ MORE: African Development Bank to launch $3bn infrastructure fund)

“One of the major problems is the lack of bankable projects in the sector, the needs are there but projects are not bankable.”

Prosper said there was need for a proper regulatory framework as this was affecting funding flows.

The Global Clients Services executive said the region had made inroads over the last decade and expected the trends to improve.

“We have made tremendous progress over the last 10 years and more progress is expected going forward,” said Prosper.

“Over the last three years we have been able to do an average of one billion US dollars worth of projects compared to previous years where we could invest 200 million dollars in a particular year.”

Prosper added that today the sector was seeing a total of five to 10 billion US dollars in a year and in the future it was anticipated this would to go to 20 and 30 billion US dollars in few years to come.

“Regulatory framework and commitment from the government needs to give assurance especially streamlining on bureaucratic challenges,” warned Prosper.

(READ MORE: Infrastructure still Africa’s biggest problem)

Turning to the Ebola crisis that has ravaged West Africa’s Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, he said there was need to consider the costs of inaction as certain African economies would be immensely affected by the crisis.

“We need to ask ourselves what would be the cost if the international community and everybody exerted their efforts towards containing the spread of the Ebola virus,” he said.

He also said the fear factor worsened the economic impact caused by the crisis in the region as countries were closing borders that also impacted heavily on trade and other related industries.