The just-ended 34th Oversight Committee meeting of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) has renewed calls for increased investment to close Africa’s infrastructure gap.
The meeting was dubbed “Delivering Green and Climate-Resilient Infrastructure in Africa” and had 47 participants in attendance, including representatives from KfW of Germany, the Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs & Digital Transition, Global Affairs Canada, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, the African Union Commission, AUDA-NEPAD, as well as representatives from regional economic communities, specialized agencies, river basin organizations, power pools, and regional corridor authorities.
The African Development Bank Acting Director of the Department for Infrastructure and Urban Development (PICU) and NEPAD-IPPF Fund Manager, Mike Salawou, speaking on behalf of the Vice-President, Private Sector, Infrastructure, and Industrialization underscored the high demand for infrastructure project preparation. “The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is in its second year of implementation and will boost intra-African trade, which will require infrastructure,” Salawou stressed.
Tomás Fernández, of the Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transition reiterated the importance of the role of NEPAD-IPPF in preparing infrastructure projects. “We all have to collaborate and contribute to the work the Fund is developing and boost its activities,” Fernandes said.
Mainstreaming climate change and smart infrastructure will become a central focus in the years ahead, in addition to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. NEPAD-IPPF has funded 105 regional infrastructure projects across Africa with over $114 million, building a robust pipeline of bankable regional projects with $35.1 billion investment potential in energy, transport, water, and ICT sectors.
A recent independent evaluation of the Fund, after its first 15-year cycle, reaffirmed its relevance as the unique facility dedicated to supporting the NEPAD infrastructure program by preparing PIDA priority projects for regional and continental economic integration. The African Union Commission representative, Souhila Amazouz, called on participants to recognize the importance of steadily advancing the infrastructure agenda, stating: “It is the right time to move the infrastructure development agenda in Africa.”
A new strategic business plan for the next five years, a dynamic resource mobilization outreach, the implementation of a digital platform to enhance its portfolio management, and the introduction of new project screening and prioritization tools will equip NEPAD-IPPF with the instruments essential for a successful delivery for years to come.
“Infrastructure development is a key driver for progress, and NEPAD-IPPF can continue to provide a fundamental role to reduce the infrastructure gap. Nevertheless, to allow the Fund to develop its pipeline of operations and continue working for Africa’s progress, mobilizing additional resources is needed,”Tomás Fernández
About the NEPAD-IPPF
NEPAD-IPPF, a multi-donor Special Fund hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB), supports African countries to prepare bankable regional infrastructure projects in energy, transport, ICT, and transboundary water. Current donors of the NEPAD-IPPF include Canada, Germany, the UK, Spain, Norway, and Denmark. NEPAD-IPPF works to address the lack of investment-ready projects in Africa.