African leaders urged development finance institutions and international partners to increase support and funding for infrastructure project preparation initiatives, including providing more grant resources to the NEPAD-Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) hosted by the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org).
In a communiqué released after the close of the Second Infrastructure Financing Summit in Dakar, African presidents also called for technical and financial partners to support the mobilization of resources needed to make infrastructure projects more bankable. There was also consensus on the need for stronger national and regional risk mitigation systems to attract greater private investment.
The African Union and the government of Senegal brought together a range of actors at the Summit to rally support and financing for 69 priority water, information and communication technology, energy and transport projects worth $160 billion. These projects are under the second phase of the pan-African Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA PAP2) initiative which runs from 2021 to 2030.
“The continent’s progress on infrastructure is real but the challenges are also real,” said President Macky Sall of Senegal, the current African Union chairperson, during his opening speech.
Referring to the PIDA priority projects, Sall said, “Sixty one percent of the 69 projects have not yet undergone feasibility studies to attract private investors. We need to develop synergies between multilateral partners and NEPAD to conduct feasibility studies.”
Sall pointed to public-private partnerships as a possible solution for African governments constrained by economic conditions. He said construction would start on the Dakar-area deep-water port of Ndayane in February 2023. The project, a collaboration between the government and DP World, an Emirati logistics company, is expected to cost $800 million.
“Egypt is ready to share its expertise in public-private partnerships,” said Egyptian prime minister Mostafa Madbouly. The country has raised over $140 billion in the last few years, much of it through public private partnerships, for investment in new infrastructure, he said. This had helped create 5 million new jobs.
Acting African Development Bank Vice President Marie Laure Akin-Olugbade led a delegation to the summit and represented its head, Dr. Adesina. She said, “The African leaders here understand it is possible to attract the private sector. The winning formula is not a mystery nor a secret. It begins with having well-prepared projects.”
She offered the example of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development project, a PIDA priority project, for which “the African Development Bank, in partnership with the EU through the PAGODA framework agreement, mobilized $43 million to conduct feasibility studies. Now the project has been restructured into a public private partnership model,” Akin-Olugbade said.
Project sponsors, including ECOWAS in partnership with the bank, showcased the project during the Africa Investment Forum’s (https://apo-opa.info/3RUX6MG) Market Days event in 2022. The summit communiqué named the Africa Investment Forum as a potential conduit to attract more investment for PIDA PAP 2 projects.
Each dollar in grant support from NEPAD-IPPF for studies of regional infrastructure projects has contributed to the mobilization of an average of 409 dollars in downstream support for the realization of physical infrastructure projects in Africa, Akin-Olugbade added. “This is a significant leveraging effect and demonstrates the catalytic effect and importance of investing in quality project preparation.”
Nardos Bekele-Thomas, CEO of the AU Development Agency, named three things that would be indispensable for world-class infrastructure in Africa. “We need our own DFIs. And they can get together and do marvelous things; We need to set up facilities for project preparation and we need partnerships.”
On the final day of the summit, deal room sessions presented 16 priority projects, including the Establishment of a Navigational Line between Lake Victoria and the Mediterranean Sea-Feasibility Study Phase project; the Angololo Multipurpose Water Resources Development Project at the Kenya-Uganda frontier; and the Masaka-Mwanza Transmission Line Project involving Uganda and Tanzania.
Several African Development Bank projects featured, including the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development project, which has already attracted $15.6 billion in interest; the Praia-Dakar-Abidjan Multimodal Transport Corridor Project; and the construction of the Central Corridor Standard Gauge Rail (SGR) in East and Central Africa.
The Bank, through the NEPAD-IPPF, is also currently financing the Lamu Port Development: Transaction Advisory Services and technical assistance project, which is part of the LAPSSET corridor development project. LAPSSET will connect Lamu port in Kenya to South Sudan and Ethiopia.
PIDA is a joint initiative of the African Union Commission, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Planning and Coordination Agency (AUDA – NEPAD), and the African Development Bank.
To read the Dakar Declaration on Synergies of Action for Infrastructure Financing in Africa in full, click here (https://apo-opa.info/3I5tXdg)
For a full list of current PIDA priority projects, click here (https://apo-opa.info/3K9AaHw)