Egypt requires $675 billion of investment over the next 20 years to meet its infrastructure needs, the World Bank announced yesterday.
“Egypt requires annual investments worth $33.75 billion per year over the next 20 years,” the World Bank said in a report.
The report, dubbed “Egypt: Enabling Private Investment and Commercial Financing in Infrastructure,” focused on four priority sectors – recently identified by the Egyptian government – including energy, transport, water and sanitation, and agriculture.
“With Egypt’s limited fiscal space, relying on public resources to fund much-needed infrastructure investments will no longer be a viable strategy to meet the country’s needs,” the international bank stressed.
The constraint, the bank added, reaffirms the need for a “shift” in the development model, where the private sector plays a “pivotal role” in attracting substantial new investment across high potential economic sectors.
The reported warned that “creating jobs will be Egypt’s biggest economic challenge,” given the fact that some 80 million Egyptians will be entering the labour force within the next ten years.
“Improving infrastructure will provide access to jobs, markets and basic services,” the bank pointed out, adding that the infrastructure will also “create reliable supply chains and therefore allow for the efficient movement of goods and services across borders, and bolster Egypt’s export potential.”
The report predicted that the North African country would face a “significant” infrastructure financing gap over the next 20 years. “Egypt could provide up to $445 billion in financing, but requires $675 billion to meet its needs, resulting in a $230 billion investment gap,” the World Bank explained.
According to state official data, the country’s total implemented investments reached 514.3 billion Egyptian pounds ($28.8 billion) in the financial year 2016-17, compared to 392 billion Egyptian pounds ($22 billion) in the earlier year.
Egypt’s financial year begins in early July and lasts until the end of June of the following year.