Africa is at a critical threshold as it positions itself as the world’s leading “resource frontier”. This drives strong demand for infrastructure, which is already one of the continent’s greatest challenges.

Key Infrastructure, from power generation and transportation to water and telecommunications, have been identified as a major priority.

Though proven to drive significant economic, social and environmental growth, infrastructure suffers from chronic underinvestment. This lack of existing infrastructure and new investment funding is constraining trade and job creation. The World Bank estimates that Africa’s infrastructure deficit holds back its economic growth by 2% each year.

While infrastructure demand is growing, public infrastructure financing has become more difficult to obtain: public budgets are strained and those of major donors that have traditionally supported aid flows to Africa are under pressure. Particularly in Sub-Sahara Africa, the private sector needs to play a greater role in infrastructure financing and development than in the past to keep pace with demand.

Building upon the public-private partnership (PPP) concept, financial and legal innovation is allowing new types of partnerships involving the public and the private sectors, in order to develop Africa’s much-needed infrastructure.