President of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, says the way forward for Nigeria and the rest of Africa to bridge the continent’s huge infrastructure deficit is to unlock over $1tr locked in pension and insurance assets.
Adesina made this known at the Africa Bloomberg Media Initiative (ABMI) 20 Innovator Chat 2020 yesterday, urging African countries to accelerate growth and development by mobilising funds from pension and insurance through policy initiatives.
Besides, he said African countries need to reduce their debt burden to spur growth and development.
He said: “Africa outstanding debt estimated at over $700bn has been compounded by the rising share of commercial creditors who hold over $44bn in Eurobond debt for 10 African while G20 initiative on debt service suspension has helped 22 African countries to access $5.2bn in relief of payments.
“This represents only about four per cent of the total bilateral debt of Africa. The lesson for Africa is clear. Africa simply cannot accelerate its development by relying solely on debt, especially expensive bilateral debt. Africa must grow by mobilising domestic resources, especially by unlocking its over $1tr pension funds, sovereign wealth fund and insurance funds.
“This should be better harnessed to help close the annual infrastructure financing gap as estimated by the bank to be anything between $64bn to $108bn annually. Africa will build back faster by also harnessing and better managing the revenue streams from its abundant natural resources, including minerals metals, biodiversity, low economy forex resources, agriculture oil and gas in order to boost domestic savings.”