The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) offers better access to affordable capital and infrastructure expertise to its growing list of African member countries, an Ethiopian expert said.
“As a multilateral development bank committed to financially sustainable lending practices, the AIIB offers its growing list of African member countries better access to affordable capital and infrastructure expertise,” Costantinos Bt. Costantinos, who served as an Economic Adviser to the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), said on Thursday.
According to the expert, African nations and businesses often face a “credibility gap” in trying to convince foreign and domestic investors and the rest of the business community about their commitments to particular policies.
“The AIIB membership provides powerful guarantees of governments’ policy directions”
Costantinos, also a professor of public policy at the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, further argued that by investing in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors, it plans to connect people, services and markets better.
Noting that infrastructure plays a key role in economic growth and poverty reduction, Costantinos stressed that the lack of infrastructure affects productivity and raises production and transaction costs, which hinders growth by reducing the competitiveness of businesses and the ability of governments to pursue economic and social development policies.
“The lack of infrastructure in Africa is widely recognised,” he said, adding that “there are a number of good reasons for poor nations to join the AIIB.”
“The attractiveness of AIIB is that governments are able to obtain an improved infrastructure access to finance and markets for their exports,” he added.