UBA makes compelling argument for Africa's infrastructure development
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UBA makes compelling argument for Africa's infrastructure development

The Executive Director and CEO of UBA Africa, Abiola Bawuah, has emphasized that there are numerous funding sources available to support the expansion of infrastructure across Africa.

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The astute banker underlined the presence of regional, commercial, and development banks in Africa that can provide the necessary support for infrastructure to drive growth in Africa.

In a panel discussion on infrastructure development in Africa, at the launch of the 2025 Africa Prosperity Dialogue, Mrs Bawuah stated the importance of collaborative dialogues with all financial stakeholders to pool funds for Africa's development.

Willingness 

She expressed UBA's willingness to partner with governments and other entities to drive Africa's development agenda with regards to closing the infrastructure gap in Africa.

She said there was the need for sustainable funding mechanisms, stating, "Our quest for good infrastructure such as roads, railways, and telecoms, must be paid for, and therefore must demonstrate the ability to pay for the funding.

She highlighted the role of banks in partnering with governments to ensure viable funding solutions, citing UBA's financing of a $300 million road project in southern Africa, which was sustained through tolling mechanisms.

Addressing the cost of funding, Mrs. Bawuah called for dialogues aimed at reducing funding costs to make lending more viable for banks. She urged the African Prosperity Network (APN) to convene discussions between banks, the Bank of Ghana, the Business Community, and other stakeholders to achieve this goal.

Funding tenures 

Regarding funding tenure, Mrs Bawuah noted variations across countries, with UBA offering funding tenures of eight-12 years in some countries, subject to economic factors. 

However, she said there were challenges in Ghana, where the longest tenure was currently limited to four years due to funding costs and challenging macroeconomic environment.

She advocated for a review of Stock Exchanges in Africa, noting their underperformance and suggesting improvements to better support infrastructure development initiatives across Africa with long term funds.

The panel discussion also featured prominent Key Personalities including the Group CEO of Telecel, Moh Damush, the Director-General of SSNIT, Kofi Bosompem Osafo-Marfo, and Minister for Railway Development in Ghana, John Peter Amewu, emphasizing the collaborative efforts needed from various sectors to drive infrastructure development in order to harness the opportunities that abound in Africa.

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