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Infrastructure demand in Africa driven by continental initiatives

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World Cement,

At the 23rd Oversight Committee Meeting of the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility, Shem Simuyemba told members of the OC that new infrastructure demand in Africa is being driven by continental initiatives. He presented the new NEPAD-IPPF Strategic Business Plan for the five-year period 2016-2020, and informed the Forum that there were at least four continental initiatives driving the growth of infrastructure in Africa.

The first was clear continental priorities through the approval of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa by African Heads of State and Government in January 2012. This formed a strategic framework and blueprint for integrating and interconnecting Africa through regional infrastructure projects. PIDA’s investment portfolio is US$68 billion to be realised by 2020. The regional economic communities and power pools, on top of the demand for project preparation arising from Regional Infrastructure Masterplans, drive this as energy is one of Africa’s highest infrastructure priorities.

The second initiative was the deepening and maturing regional integration arrangements and the emergence of larger economic blocks. These include the 26 country Grand Free Trade Area involving three regional economic communities: the Southern African Development Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the East African Community, as well as the Africa-wide Continental Free Trade Area. These translate into increased trade and investment requiring matching infrastructure capacities and efficiencies to support emerging regional and global value chains.

Third was the new High 5 Agenda, championed by the AfDB President. Translating the agenda into implementation will require enhanced capacities to identify, prepare and develop bankable projects, which can attract financing leading to implementation to achieve the desired development outcomes.

The fourth was the increased appetite of the private sector to finance infrastructure in Africa, requiring well-prepared projects that meet the financing criteria of both global and African financiers through public-private partnerships or direct financing by private sector investors and equity funds.

Simuyemba informed the Oversight Committee meeting that the “missing bridge” between these continental initiatives on the one hand and available financing on the other, was the lack of well-prepared bankable projects which are investment-ready and can attract financing.

Adapted from press release by

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