Although the country sum of the FBIC measure can be helpful for think...
2021-06-30 2 ENGLISH REPORTS
African countries face a huge deficit in terms of the stock and quality of infrastructure and this has contributed significantly to economic underdevelopment on the continent. SSA is the region with the lowest road density (measured as kilometres of road per surface area of a country) and road quality, based on the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index on infrastructure quality. The region also lacks large-scale infrastructure, which is necessary for regional integration and expansion of intraregional trade.13 The African Development Bank (AfDB) estimated that meeting the continent’s infrastructure needs will cost between $130 and $170 billion per year.China-led infrastructure development in Africa is therefore a crucial vehicle for closing the financing gap and boosting intraregional development.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, African governments received some $148 billion in Chinese loans between 2000 and 2018, much of it for large-scale infrastructure projects.15 The quantum of the loans has gradually increased and over the past five years has amounted to about $2 billion per year. Chinese infrastructure investment comes in various modalities, including concessionary and non-concessionary loans, grants and FDI. Chinese infrastructure investment can also be viewed through pre-BRI and BRI lenses. Prior to the BRI, Chinese investment largely took place through bilateral arrangements and was mostly targeted at in-country infrastructure. The BRI promised to scale up both in-country and cross-country infrastructural development. As the BRI extends beyond Africa, the expansion of infrastructure networks that link Africa to other continents will also be possible in the future.
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