Chinese development banks provided USD 23 billion to finance public-private partnerships in sub-Saharan Africa, more than some of the world’s greatest economies combined from 2007 to 2020, according to a new study.
The Washington- and London-based Center for Global Development on Thursday said loans by Chinese development were more than double the combined amount of USD 9.1 billion lent by banks in the U.S., Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, France and South Africa.
“This is well short of what the region needs for roads, dams and bridges,” said Nancy Lee, lead author of the study. The global think tank examined more than 500 infrastructure projects in the region with a private sector component that reached financial closure during the period.
“There’s a lot of criticism of China, but if Western governments want to boost productive and sustainable investments to meaningful levels, they need to deploy their own development banks and press the multilateral development banks to make these investments a priority,” Lee said.
The report also found that despite the 2015 “billions to trillions” vision launched by multilateral development banks, institutions such as the World Bank provided only USD 1.4 billion per year to fund infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa from 2016 to 2020.
Lee, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, said Western countries have been slow to hike investments despite “much rhetoric.” “There’s a real opportunity for the U.S. to provide more leadership on infrastructure finance in Africa,” Lee noted.