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Partners call for strengthening of NEPAD infrastructure projects

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At the Special Oversight Committee (OC) meeting of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Committee (NEPAD-IPPF) on 16 September in Abidjan, cooperating partners have called for enhanced partnerships on strengthening the capacity of NEPAD-IPPF to increase the Facility’s scope to prepare infrastructure projects for financing and implementation.

The current Chairperson of the NEPAD-IPPF’s OC, Edmond Wega, said “Project preparation will remain key to unlocking investment because financing can only go to projects which are economically, financially, environmentally and socially viable.” He also said that donors are committed to supporting a stronger, more efficient and better resourced NEPAD-IPPF.

Birgit Holderied-Kress from Germany’s KfW (German Development Bank) said Germany has and will remain a strong sponsor of NEPAD-IPPF because its role was critical.

Brian Baxendale of the UK Department for International Development (DFID), observed that “the need for project preparation in Africa is so fundamental that even if NEPAD-IPPF as an institution did not exist, a similar institution would have had to be created”. In this the UK joins the other donors supporting NEPAD-IPPF: Canada, Germany, Spain, Norway and Denmark.

NEPAD-IPPF was established in 2005, and over the past 10 years has committed US$100 million to the preparation of projects in energy, transport and ICT. These have generated investments of US$ 7.33 billion.

In the Special OC meeting, Solomon Asamoah, the African Development Bank’s Vice-President for Infrastructure, Private Sector and Regional Integration, emphasized that the Bank was committed to transforming NEPAD-IPPF into Africa’s premier infrastructure project preparation facility, and that some of the issues impacting its performance were already being addressed. These include the release of US$12 million into the capital operations of NEPAD-IPPF, in addition to hosting the facility; two key appointments – Moono Mupotola to Director of the Bank’s Regional Integration and Trade Department (ONRI), and Shem Simuyemba as Manager of NEPAD-IPPF; and increased engagement with African Governments including African Regional Development Banks to make contributions to NEPAD-IPPF to complement donor financing.

He also encouraged NEPAD-IPPF to engage with Bank Sector Departments, potential financiers and policy-makers to increase the chance that the projects prepared reach final closure and move to implementation.

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