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Africa: Private sector investments in infrastructure rise by $19 billion – AfDB

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African Development Bank (AfDB) has revealed that private sector investment in Africa’s infrastructure in 2020 increased by a whopping $19 billion, representing a 23% surge.

The increase, which is the highest since 2016 was disclosed by Mr Solomon Quaynor, Vice President for the Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialisation at a webinar organised by the bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

He said, “Private sector investment in Africa’s infrastructure rose to 19 billion dollars in 2020, representing 23 per cent, the highest since 2016.

“This counter-cyclical role played by the private sector shows the importance of its growing role in infrastructure financing in Africa,” he added.

Chief Executive Officer of the AfDB Association, Vivek Mittal said that Kenya, South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria accounted for the majority of private sector investment interest over the past two years.

He further revealed that digital activities in transportation and electricity received the highest interest.

New data from the World Bank finds that private investment in low- and middle-income country infrastructure is rebounding from the historic lows recorded in 2020. Private investment commitments in low- and middle-income countries totalled $76.2 billion in 2021, representing a 49% increase from 2020.

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Petrol prices fall in South Africa, Libya but cost of diesel keeps flying

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Prices of petrol have fallen in South Africa and Libya but such cannot be said of diesel.

The government of government on Monday announced that the petrol pump price would decrease by up to 1.02 Rand a litre but the price of diesel would increase by up to 15 cents a litre from October 5.

In Sudan also, petrol prices seem to be obeying the law of gravity as the energy ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that price had fallen from 700 Sudanese pounds to 522 pounds ($0.9235) per litre.

There has been a fall in global oil prices recently which has caused a fall in domestic inflation to 7.6% in August in South Africa.

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has had its knock-on effects on oil prices globally. Prices of diesel have almost tripled in most African countries.

In Nigeria for instance, industries like aviationtelecom operators have all struggled with the situation which has disrupted business operations.

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Zambia sets for first meeting with creditors amidst growing fiscal challenges

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The finance ministry in Zambia said it is set for its first meeting with its creditors as the South African country struggles to escape its current financial mess.

The finance minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane made the revelation on Monday at a public meeting to discuss the country’s annual budget.

Musokotwane said at a budget speech last week Zambia’s external public debt reached $14.87 billion at the end of June 2022.

“Have we started negotiations with creditors? Not yet but right now we have preparations for the first meeting,” Musokotwane said in response to a question.

Zambia’s creditors are mainly Chinese lenders and bondholders.

The Southern African country that opted to bow out of a $42.5 million Eurobond repayment in 2020,  is seeking $8.4 billion of debt relief from 2022 to 2025.

Zambia is one of the African countries currently facing economic woes. The country has been in negotiation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for aid amidst the crisis.

The country was struggling with a debt burden of almost $32 billion, around 120% of its gross domestic product.

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