Top global and African CEOs launch infrastructure business network on side-lines of WEF in SA
Cape Town, June 1, 2015 – Top global and African Chief Executive Officers today launched a Continental Business Network (CBN) to fast-track high-level private sector investment into Africa’s regional infrastructure.
The launch of the CBN on the side-lines of the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, is the mandated follow-up and implementation of recommendations emanating from the Dakar Financing Summit (DFS), hosted by Senegal’s President Macky Sall.
CEO of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, said that the CBN was endorsed by the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC) in June 2014 and is a direct response to facilitate private sector advice and leadership in essential NEPAD and African infrastructure projects. Dr Mayaki urged the private sector to take ownership of the future of regional infrastructure development. “We are making a transition from a public-centred to a combination of public and private sector approach for the implementation of Africa’s regional infrastructure. This new culture will be framed through the instruments that CBN will offer,” he said.
The DFS identified the lack of capacity and funds in project preparation combined with a weak involvement of the private sector as the main issues that constitute the bottlenecks to the implementation of African regional infrastructure. The CBN is the missing cornerstone to address these issues, Senegal’s Ambassador accredited to South Africa, Dr Momar Diop said.
“Africa will only succeed when all public and private sector stakeholders will join their efforts”, was also highlighted by Dr Elham Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy.
This inaugural CBN event, hosted by the NEPAD Agency was convened and led by a cross-section of private sector leaders who have provided recommendations to African Heads of State on approaches and practical steps to improve Africa’s infrastructure investment climate for cross-border and other infrastructure investment projects in Africa.
The CBN is an exclusive Infrastructure Investment Advisory platform for African Heads of State, providing thought leadership and engagement on a range of strategic issues like policy, investment risk rating(s), project structuring and specifically the existing constraints to the implementation of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA). The Network comprises leading African and global business and finance bodies as well as regional and international organisations.
The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), sponsored by the African Union Commission (AUC), NEPAD Agency, African Development Bank (AfDB), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs), is Africa’s solution for building mutually beneficial infrastructure and strengthening intra-Africa trade. The 51 PIDA programmes and projects are spread across the four sectors of Transport, Energy, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and trans-boundary Water. PIDA is expected to:
• Reduce energy costs and increase access. Africa will reap savings on electricity production costs of US$30 billion a year, or US$850 billion through 2040. Power access will rise from 39% in 2009 to nearly 70% in 2040, providing energy access to an additional 800 million people. PIDA energy projects will provide more than 61,009 megawatt to Africa.
• Slash transport costs and boost intra-African trade. Transport efficiency gains are valued at a minimum of US$172 billion in the African Regional Transport Integration Network (ARTIN), with the potential for much larger savings as trade corridors open. Steady advances in regional integration and services will finally create a shift from overseas trade to trade between countries and within and across regions, helping fulfil the promise of the 2028 African Common Market.
• Provide finance for transport. The transport sector will benefit from more than US$22 billion in investment.
• Ensure water and food security. Africa has the lowest water storage capacity and irrigated agriculture in the world, and about half the continent faces some sort of water stress or water scarcity—and demand is going to surge. To deal with the coming crisis, PIDA projects will enable the water storage infrastructure needed for food production and trade.
• Increase regional connectivity. PIDA projects will boost broadband connectivity by 20%. By increasing broadband penetration by 10%, which can be expected by 2018, GDP will increase by 1% given the improved connections between goods and markets as well as between people and jobs.
To learn more about the CBN, PIDA and NEPAD Agency visit www.nepad.org and the Virtual PIDA Information Centre (VPic) www.au-pida.org
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