NEPAD Strategic Dialogue on Advancing Infrastructure Development in Africa: Technical Experts Meeting presentations
Opening Remarks by Mr. Symerre Grey-Johnson, Head of Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade
On behalf of Dr Mayaki, CEO of the NEPAD Agency, I would like to welcome you to this Dialogue on advancing infrastructure development in Africa. NEPAD is pleased to always count on your commitment to Africa’s transformation and I am delighted by the interest of your various institutions in NEPAD’s efforts and initiatives to enhance regional trade and create shared prosperity through the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA). I wish also to express our thanks and appreciation to our host, the Zimbabwean Government and People, for their usual hospitality and warm welcome.
The story of Africa’s development is changing. NEPAD is happy to be to be part of this upward transformation process, together with our partners, we are confident that we can deliver the promise of the NEPAD’s ideals: putting Africa on the right path of sustainable development and inclusive growth.
It is worth noting by 2022 the installed generation capacity of energy in Africa will increase by 50%, specifically North Africa region will be the major player in term. Additionally, access to electricity and the rate of ICT penetration has significantly is significantly increasing: Since the continent’s first ever Independent Power Producer (IPP) in 1994 in Cote d’Ivoire, Africa has witness a plethora of double digit growth in IPPs.
This dynamic is the reason why the NEPAD Agency has influenced ministerial decision to establish a continental power transmission for regional energy trade in Africa. The envisaged system will allow these numerous IPPs to sell into the grid for the power pools.
Similarly, the Continent has witnessed a number of toll roads. The secrets of success of Africa’s road Public-Private Partnership remains in the in reinforced concessions guided by clarity and consistent decision making process and political committed.
Indeed, despite the fact the government changes, the policy decision remaining consistent in terms of infrastructure development in many African countries. We need to applaud and be proud of that
This meeting is special for NEPAD, we are here to set the scene for exploring innovative measures and instruments to close the 108 billion infrastructure gap on the continent. The NEPAD’s position is that the greatest challenges facing infrastructure delivery in Africa is not funding, what matters the most is the absence of coordinating infrastructure governance mechanism, articulated instrument for project structuring and finance and most importantly sustainable resource mobilization strategies to channel the billions dollars of Africa’s liquidity into Infrastructure projects.
For the previous 10 years, NEPAD Agency, the African development bank (AfDB) and other relevant partners have dedicated time and energy to assess Africa’s need in terms of infrastructure development, identify and prioritize and classify transformative and development impactful regional projects, evaluate the challenges and continuously design responsive instruments to those challenges. This journey led to the endorsement of PIDA as the continental flagship program and policy framework, development of PIDA Capacity building project, establishment of the Project Preparation Facility Network (PPFN), the Continental Business Network and the PIDA Service Delivery Mechanism, etc. Most recently, the NEPAD Agency launched the 5% Agenda Campaign and the AfDB inaugurated the Africa Investment Forum.
It is time that we consolidate these efforts. We need a systemic and integrating strategy of Project Preparation and Project Financing, an approach capable to help us moving infrastructure projects from concept to financial close through an efficient use of all these instruments and initiative.
This dialogue is designed to be a multi-stakeholder consultation aiming at defining concrete policy recommendations for Africa’s leadership that advance infrastructure projects implementation under the umbrella of PIDA. The 2018 Dialogue will focus on three work streams: (1) How to mobilize African institutional investment for infrastructure development in Africa through the NEPAD 5% Agenda Campaign; (2) Options to scale risk mitigation and operationalize an effective African Guarantee Scheme that enables the mobilization of institutional investment and private finance for African infrastructure projects; and (3): How to create the foundation for the bankability of transboundary projects, including how to enhance the role of the PIDA Service Delivery Mechanism (SDM) in early stage project preparation.
I would like to invite us to an open and frank discussion on technical issues hampering infrastructure development in Africa. Indeed as of today, all of us as development practitioners and technical experts in our respective fields are all aware of the main challenges and obstacle as to de-risking infrastructure project development in Africa and the potential that represents the institutional investment community to fill the infrastructure gap, a tremendous role that is now of public knowledge.
The complexity of these various opportunities and challenges that we are all facing, force us to stop working in close partition and work together in finding the appropriate solutions enabling us to achieve a common goal, dear to all of us, that is to develop Africa s infrastructure. I am sure that we will define a roadmap on which all of us, as well as other stakeholders, should find our roles and areas of contributions.
As I conclude, I wish to state once more that our presence today by the mighty Victoria Falls is not just about intellectual exercise. We are here to reflect and generate concrete recommendation and experts views in order to feed NEPAD’s policy process to the African union leadership.
We will reconvene afterward to follow up on the points we will agreed upon during these two days.