Sub-Sahara Africa’s Infrastructure Funding Gap: Potentials from Sukuk Financing
Sub-Sahara African (SSA) region as a large part of the African continent suffers huge infrastructure deficit mainly as a result of the vast funding gap. The negative impact of the infrastructure deficiency continues to constrain socio-economic development and the general well-being of the people of the region. Heavy reliance on the traditional sources of funding by many of the countries in the region has failed to meet ever-growing demands for infrastructural development of the region. Potentials presented by Islamic finance are yet to be exploited by a large number of countries in the region. This study evaluates the depth of utilisation of Islamic capital market using Sukuk instruments as another source of funding to fill the observed funding gap for infrastructure development. This study finds that the use of Sukuk as a long-term financing instrument is still at its infancy stage in the region. The paper, therefore, suggests that the SSA countries can undertake rapid and massive infrastructure developments in the region through the use of Sukuk instruments, thereby eliminating increasing sovereign debt over-hang from the conventional debt market. This study also recommends that policy makers in the region put in place required laws and regulations that will provide enabling environments for effective utilisation of Sukuk instruments for infrastructural development. Similarly, strong political will on the part of the region’s political leaders is essential in nurturing strong institutions that can engender policy continuity to ensure effective and efficient management of infrastructure projects funded by Sukuk instruments.
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