African cities require infrastructure to grow and thrive. In dynamic and uncertain times, infrastructure investments need to be sustainable, inclusive, and resilient. Can we mobilise finance to support sustainable urban infrastructure on the continent?
This was the central question of a research collaboration between the Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft and the African Centre for Cities (ACC) at University of Cape Town.
Through an innovative process of knowledge co-production and action research around the topic of sustainable infrastructure investment in Africa, we have developed a series of position papers that take an overview of infrastructure financing in Africa, identifying the research gaps and defining a new research agenda, as well as a series of sector-specific papers.
The series includes:
- Infrastructure Financing in Africa: Overview, research gaps and urban research agenda
- Financing ICT and Digitalisation in Urban Africa: Current trends and key sustainability issues
- Financing Urban Sanitation in Africa: A role for sustainable infrastructure finance and innovation
- Financing Urban Mobility in Africa: Mobilising money for movement within and between African cities
- Electricity Infrastructure: Repositioning finance within Africa’s sustainable energy transition
- Mainstreaming Sustainable Infrastructure Investment: Synthesis and Reflections
The papers formed the basis of discussion at two roundtable events with representatives from multi-lateral financial institutions, development banks, and academic institutions to further co-produced understanding of the opportunities to mainstream sustainable infrastructure into the portfolios and projects across the sector and to identify relevant measures to mobilise financing for urban development at all levels of government.
Based on the exchanges in these discussions the positions papers have been finalised, and a synthesis paper draws together reflections on the process.
We believe the series reflects a rich engagement between financial actors and African urban experts and point the way toward mobilising investment to support sustainable urban infrastructure in Africa.