G-7 Reaffirms Commitment to African Infrastructure at Italy Summit

G-7 leaders, including US President Biden and Italian PM Meloni, pledged support for multi-billion-dollar African infrastructure projects.

G-7 leaders meeting at their summit in Puglia, Italy have reaffirmed support for multi-billion-dollar infrastructure projects across Africa to realise the continent’s economic potential and transformation.

US President Joseph Biden and current G-7 President, the Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, co-chaired a special ad hoc meeting on the sidelines of the summit to review the G7’s Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) and its links with Italy’s recently unveiled Mattei Plan for Africa.

The meeting, which reviewed the PGII’s accomplishments and delivery on commitments since its 2022 launch, was also attended at CEO level by Italian and US representatives from the financial, energy and digital private sector with a wide portfolio in the African continent.

Italy told the gathering it was joining US and EU efforts to promote sustainable development along the Lobito Corridor—committing to strengthen collaboration and mobilize an additional aggregate contribution of up to $320 million in investment in support of the core rail infrastructure and of the related side projects, with a view to additionally creating synergies with the Alliance for Green Infrastructure in Africa (AGIA).

The Lobito Corridor is connected by a stretch of railway infrastructure snaking through mineral- and oil-rich parts of Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zambia. It connects Southern and Central Africa, and provides access to Eastern Africa and a pathway to the Atlantic Ocean.

It is typical of the mega infrastructure projects supported by the African Development Bank to ensure Africa attains its stated aim of complete economic transformation, sustainable development and poverty elimination.

Expressing his thanks for being invited to participate at the prestigious G-7 summit, Bank President Dr Akinwumi Adesina told world leaders that the African Development Bank had invested over $50 billion in quality infrastructure in Africa over the past eight years. He stated that the African Development Bank is the continent’s leading financier of infrastructure in Africa.

However, he cautioned that: “Africa has an infrastructure financing gap of $68-108 billion annually.” This needs to be addressed to realise Africa’s ambitions, strongly supported by the G-7, to become a major global economic powerhouse.”

In support of the G7’s Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) goal of mobilizing $600 billion in infrastructure investment in emerging economies, a coalition of US investors highlighted and committed anew billions of dollars in private investment in scaled infrastructure in emerging markets, aligned with PGII priorities.

In a joint statement, the co-chairs welcomed Italy’s renewed commitment to boost development in Africa including by deepening partnerships with African Nations through its Mattei Plan and stressed their commitment to increase coordination between PGII, MPA and the EU’s Global Gateway “to maximize our collective impact as we work to develop transformative economic corridors in Africa.”

The Italian Private Sector also added its voice to the growing chorus of those urging greater investment in Africa. In the context of this engagement, the Mattei Plan for Africa has launched new financial instruments in collaboration with the African Development Bank, open to international partners’ contributions.

Welcoming the renewed commitments to Africa’s economic transformation, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen recalled the PGII initiative was only two years old and came about as a response to the pandemic and food crisis caused by Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

The European Union is contributing EUR 300 billion through Global Gateway, and it is fantastic that we also have the Mattei Plan joining now

At that time we joined forces and said that we needed a major investment programme for infrastructure abroad. PGII was born. The European Union is contributing EUR 300 billion through Global Gateway, and it is fantastic that we also have the Mattei Plan joining now.

We wanted to create an alternative for infrastructure investment. It is not only the financial firepower that is impressive, but PGII is sustainable: It is good for the planet and for a country’s finances.

Ursula von der Leyen, President, European Commission

The meeting confirmed the commitment to launching and scaling investments around PGII economic corridors globally, including corridors in Asia, Africa, and one connecting Europe to Asia through the Middle East, noting appreciation for the wide range of current and future investment by private companies in strategic sectors, such as finance for green energy and digitalization. 

The co-chairs also welcomed the Africa Green Industrialization Initiative (AGII) as a key platform for collaboration on infrastructure investment in Africa and celebrated the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) commitment of up to $100 million in philanthropic catalytic investment capital to unlock an additional $1 billion in private finance. The participants also recognized GEAPP as one of the key partners in implementing distributed renewable energy generation, battery storage, and e-mobility projects. 

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