African Infrastructure – Financing Conference

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A conference on financing Africa’s infrastructure development will be held in Dakar, Senegal on November 5th-6th. It will be hosted by the African Union commission (AUC) and the Government of Senegal supported by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Africa Development Bank (AfDB).

This meeting will “set the pace for quantum and incremental financing for the implementation of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)” the ECA said.

AfDB Director for Regional Integration and Trade, Alex Rugamba, said the PIDA has been critical in launching the joint Africa50Fund, which will facilitate large-scale funding from the private sector.

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ibrahim Maiyaki, at the close of a two-day meeting of the NEPAD Steering Committee in Centurion, South Africa, said the Dakar conference was an innovative idea necessary for the continent’s progress, PANA reported. It would “foster synergies between the public and private sector” Dr. Mayaki said.

Mrs. Gnounka Diouf, Chairperson of the NEPAD Steering Committee and representative of Senegal’s President Macky Sall, said the conference will also “showcase Africa’s own financing competencies.”

A further consultative meeting in Lusaka, Zambia in October aimed to bring stakeholders together  – representatives of African governments, United Nations Agencies, the AUC and other strategic development partners – to consult and plan ahead of the Dakar conference.

AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Dr. Anthony Mothae Maruping, said Infrastructure development in Africa needs to be adequately funded through the continent’s own resources in order to impact on people’s lives.

Africa50 Fund Developments

The Africa50 Fund will be innovative in its design and structure, leveraging infrastructure financing resources from African central bank reserves, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, the African Diaspora, and high net worth individuals on the continent

In New York in late September, a “historic partnership” between the AfDB and was Made in Africa Foundation (MIAF), was launched at the NASDAQ stock exchange. MIAF was co-founded by Nigerian entrepreneur Kola Aluko and international fashion designer of Ghanaian descent Ozwald Boateng.

The partnership will co-manage and market initiatives to attract new investment for Africa50 and aims to raising US$500 million for Africa50’s project development arm by the first half of 2014.

“Africa is a rich continent not a poor one – BUT its wealth is not yet utilised for the benefit of Africans. Africa is moving fast: 7 out of 10 of the world’s fastest economies are in Africa. But the tragedy of the African continent is we export our wealth.

”Intra-Africa trade, if you look at the sub-Saharan region, is a mere 7 per cent, so as Africans we do not trade amongst ourselves. If you compare the intra-European trade, it’s an excess of 70 per cent, intra-Asia trade is an excess of 55 per cent,”  Boateng said.

The new partnership, the Dakar conference and the Africa50 fund are all part of the effort to change this and forge a new reality.

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