Donors from Canada, Germany, UK and Spain have called on other countries to join them in increasing financial contributions to support infrastructure project preparation in Africa so as to accelerate Africa’s transformation and increased socio-economic development through enhanced infrastructure connectivity.

They observed that Africa’s regional integration efforts were being undermined by inadequate infrastructure and that this in turn, was due to the lack of bankable infrastructure projects in energy, transport, ICT and water and sanitation which could attract financing for implementation.

The donors made the call at the Oversight Committee (OC) meeting of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) Special Fund which took place at the Headquarters of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire on 6th July, 2017. The Oversight Committee the executive body of the Special Fund composed of representatives from the contributing Donor Partners (Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, Denmark and Norway) as well as the African Union Commission (AUC) and the NEPAD Agency.

The meeting took stock of the operations of the NEPAD-IPPF Special Fund for the first six months of 2017 from January to June 2017. Receiving the Financial Report, the Committee Members noted the contributions to the Special Fund which amounted to US$90.5 million, most of which had already been committed to the preparation of regional infrastructure projects across Africa.

The Committee’s Chairman, Fiore Pace of Global Affairs Canada, speaking on behalf of the other Donors observed that more funds were required given the increasing demands being made on the Fund by African countries, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Power Pools among others, who are the main beneficiaries. He called on other Donors to join and contribute additional financial resources to the NEPAD-IPPF Special Fund as this was a good investment for the continent.

In his contribution to the discussions, the AfDB Vice President responsible for Private sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, Pierre Guislain stated that: “the core question is to deliver all-inclusive and sustainable infrastructure through well-packaged, bankable projects attractive to investors for financing adding that it is clear that to achieve this requires enhancing capacities and resource to existing Facilities such as NEPAD-IPPF; improved coordination by all players; and increased partnerships and co-financing”.

He also informed meeting that the Bank remains committed to supporting NEPAD – IPPF considering the enormous infrastructure needs and the desire to have investment ready and sustainable infrastructure projects across Africa in line with the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063, the Bank’s own High 5’s and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as Africa’s own growing regional integration and industrialization.

At the continental level, the success of major infrastructure initiatives such as the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), a priority initiative of African Heads of State and Government, depends on mobilizing financing for implementation. In this regard, Cheikh Bedda, the Director of Infrastructure and Energy at the AUC observed that, “This meeting is convened at a time when we are committed to conducting the mid-term review of the PIDA PAP (PIDA Priority Action Plan, with an investment portfolio of US$68 billion to be realized by 2020).

The early indications on the implementation of projects clearly show the critical importance of a sound project preparation, given that more than half of the portfolio of projects are still at the conceptual stage…. resource mobilization is key to properly prepare projects. We call upon our partners to strengthen the NEPAD IPPF, which should also more involved with the support of regional and continental organizations, local public resources.”

The Donors commended the AfDB for its prudent financial management of the Special Fund and also the management and staff of NEPAD-IPPF for the positive impact the Special Fund was having on Africa’s infrastructure development.