One Belt One Road initiative to make up for investment shortfall in Africa, says expert

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BEIJING, September 11. /TASS/. Projects within the Chinese ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative will positively influence African states and help make up for the chronic investment shortfall and restore the balance in the region’s development, executive director of the Moscow office of the Dialogue of Civilizations research institute Andrei Filippov said in an interview with TASS.

“Undoubtedly the expansion of the ‘One Belt One Road’ to Africa will be positive as that region and developing countries of the ‘global south’ are facing a substantial lack of infrastructure,” he said.

Forecasts say that as many as 2.6 bln people will inhabit the African continent by 2050, though many countries of the region still lack core facilities, including those providing the population with electricity and water, the expert explained. Considering the factor of cutting-edge technologies, including information technologies, influencing the social and economic well-being of people, the lack of fundamental infrastructure “will drive the growth of systemic economic inequality, both globally and across regions,” Filippov said.

“That is why the implementation of infrastructure projects in African states is a vital focus of their development, particularly amid global climate changes,” he noted. “Undoubtedly the participation of international development institutions, as well as such countries as Russia and China, European and American investors, is a positive factor for all African people,” the expert added.

He emphasized that the planned amount of investments in Africa is lower than its projected demands. “According to the African Development Bank’s estimations, the continent requires from $130 to $170 bln per year, whereas the annual deficit of funds is estimated to total from $68 to $108 bln, meaning that roughly half of capital demands remain uncovered,” executive director said.

He also noted that the ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative suggests voluntary cooperation. “The participation of countries in that initiative does not imply assuming special political commitments, the key principles for projects’ selection are related to standard structuring procedures, selection and practical implementation of big investment projects in the infrastructure field,” the expert said.

from https://tass.com/economy/1077602

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