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An international banking group, the Standard Chartered, has issued a study that looks at the most impactful opportunities for investing in three infrastructure-focused SDGs in five high-growth markets in Africa.

Opportunity2030 reveals a $197 billion opportunity for private-sector investors in five high-growth markets in Africa to help achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with improving digital access making up $74.5 billion of that total.

The study highlights opportunities for investors to contribute to three infrastructure-focused goals between now and 2030: SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy and SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure across emerging markets.

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Across all the world’s emerging markets, Oportunity2030 identifies a $10 trillion opportunity for private sector investors. This represents around 40% of the total funding required to meet specific indicators within the three SDGs – allowing for population growth as well as maintaining current access – with public funds expected to provide the bulk of the investment.

Five African countries that are included in the study are Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia. Key highlights include:

  • Providing universal digital access represents the greatest investment opportunity for the private sector by 2030 ($74.5 billion), followed by universal access to power ($65.8 billion), transport infrastructure ($46.4 billion) and access to clean water and sanitation ($10.3 billion)
  • The biggest single opportunity across the African markets in the study is in increasing digital access – a combination of mobile phone subscriptions rates and internet connectivity – in Nigeria ($47.4 billion). Driven by its large and growing population, Nigeria also offers the greatest overall opportunity across the SDG indicators measured (a total of $114.2 billion), followed by Kenya ($40 billion)
  • Zambia and Kenya present a big opportunity to make an impact on SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation): With an average of 43% and 56% of the population respectively currently lacking access to clean water and sanitation, there is a $2.3 billion private-sector investment opportunity to help close the gap by 2030
  • Uganda presents a meaningful opportunity to make an impact on SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy): with just 22% of the population that has access to electricity, there is a $6.1 billion private-sector investment opportunity to help achieve universal access by 2030
  • The greatest investment opportunity in Ghana is in achieving and maintaining universal access to electricity (a key SDG 7 indicator), representing a $7.8 billion private-sector opportunity

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Private sector central to achieving SDGs

Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO, Africa & Middle East, Standard Chartered, said: “The UN Sustainable Development Goals are amongst the most ambitious projects humanity has ever attempted. As well as offering our best hope yet of tackling the world’s most serious challenges, they also offer a unique opportunity for the private sector.

“For the goals to be met in Africa, the private sector must play a central role in deploying capital to get projects off the ground. Opportunity2030 provides a map of these opportunities, revealing the sectors and markets where investors can best contribute to the SDGs whilst achieving sustainable returns.”

“Currently, not enough capital is reaching the countries that need it the most. With the UN’s 2030 deadline for achieving SDGs just 10 years away, the time to act is now,” Kaushal concluded.

Opportunity2030: SDG private-sector investment opportunities by African countries in the study:

Market Water and sanitation (SDG 6) Access to power
(SDG 7)
Transport infrastructure (SDG 9) Digital access (SDG 9) Total
Nigeria USD5.7bn USD32.3bn USD28.8bn USD47.4bn USD114.2bn
Kenya USD2.3bn USD15.6bn USD9.1bn USD13.0bn USD40.0bn
Ghana USD0.8bn USD7.8bn USD4.1bn USD6.9bn USD19.6bn
Uganda USD0.8bn USD6.1bn USD2.8bn USD4.0bn USD13.7bn
Zambia USD0.7bn USD4.0bn USD1.6bn USD3.2bn USD9.5bn
Total USD10.3bn USD65.8bn USD46.4bn USD74.5bn USD197bn

Read the full report here