Billions of US $ needed in West Africa by 2030

8 Apr 2020

West Africa currently has a population of approximately 400 million people across its 17 countries. To give you some context, this is more than the total population of the United States of America. 

By 2030, ABiQ estimates West Africa’s population will grow by around 21% to reach an outstanding 490 million. But what does this increase mean for some of the region’s most crucial sectors? And how can investment play a crucial part in supporting West Africa?  


Just to maintain the current levels of accessABiQ estimates that West Africa will need to generate an additional 3 GW of electricity capacity by 2030. Sadly, this region has some of the lowest rates of access to power, so to increase access to this capacity and improve the overall quality of life for West African’s, foreign investment is needed now. 


We predict that an additional 6 million cubic metres of potable water will be needed every year by 2030. This is just to maintain the current standards. 

Even though the region experiences sufficient supply of water through rainfall and sub-reservoirs, water purification plants are in short supply. 

The existing network requires extensive overhauls in many parts of West Africa, and large investment is needed to upgrade the existing network and develop new networks to supply the ever-growing communities. 


With an estimated 96 million new pupils starting school by 2030ABiQ predicts that West Africa will have more than 191 million children of school-going age in the next 10 years. 

Based on our predictions and an average of 2,000 children per school, we calculate the education sector will need an additional 96,000 schools. 

If we assume the average construction cost to build a school is approximately US $8 million for a 9,000m2 school, this means a total of US $768 billion investment is needed just to build the schools. 

On top of this if we work on a 1:40 teacher to child ratio per class, West Africa will need an additional 2.4 million new teachers by 2030.  


By 2030, we estimate an additional 590 hospitals, each with 200 beds, will be needed based on the rise in population forecasting. This is just to keep the current standard of healthcare in the region. 

If we assume that a 7-story hospital with 200 beds costs around US $150 million (depending on the location) to build, this calculates into an investment of US $89 billion just to deliver these facilities. This excludes equipment, operational and other costs, and also excludes the requirement for an additional 17,000 physicians that will need to be trained and employed. 

With a total GDP of just less than US $1 trillion and the above forecasting figures, it’s clear to see that West African has enormous potential and investment opportunities. 

Nigeria has the largest GDP across the whole of Africa, totalling around US $400 billion (depending on oil prices). Following Nigeria is Ghana, with a GDP of approximately US $70 billion.  

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  West Africa 
Population in 2020   400 million  
Population by 2030   490 million  
GPD (2018)   XXX billion  
Electricity Capacity required by 2030   3 GW 
Potable Water required by 2030   6 m cm3 
Children in school by 2030   191 million  
New Hospitals required by 2030   590 new hospitals  


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