Africa suffers from an infrastructure deficit that greatly limits growth and poverty reduction on the continent. Seventy percent of the population do not have access to electricity, and many rural communities lack road to access to markets or health facilities. In some areas, a lack of infrastructure reduces economic output by as much as 40 percent.
However both government and private investors often find it difficult to find African infrastructure projects to invest in. This isn’t because of a lack of projects, but rather a lack of information being made available to investors. As a result, potential investors find it very hard, time consuming, and at times, expensive to find information on projects and other potential investors. This impedes investment even though new projects often yield attractive rates of return. The result of this is that African people continue to suffer from this lack of infrastructure.
Today however at the G20 Summit in France, world leads took steps to address this problem by endorsing the establishment of the Sokoni African Infrastructure Marketplace. This African Development Bank and the Zanbato Group Sokoni proposal (“Sokoni” is Swahili for “marketplace”) should help overcome many of the challenges investors face by creating a single platform for information on a large number of African infrastructure initiatives. Governments and investors will be able to come to find transparent information and link up efficiently with each other. Using ICT and technology, Sokoni will help enhance efficiency, transparency, and connectivity in the market and help to mobilize increased resources from Africa and abroad for badly needed infrastructure projects.
ONE welcomes this initiative and the support of the G20 world leaders for it. You can find out more about Sonoki from its website http://www.sokoni.com/