ECA Working with African Countries to Boost Infrastructure, Energy and Agriculture Investment

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April 8/2021/ENA/ The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) said it is working with African countries to increase investment in infrastructure and agriculture, Economic Affairs Officer with the Private Sector Development and Finance Division, Habiba Ben Barka said.

Habiba Ben Barka made the remark in her presentation at ECA’s first quarter Accountability and Programme Performance Review Meeting (APPRM) on Wednesday.  

According to her, the commission has been working to strengthen private sector business environment in energy and infrastructure development, and increase the use of public-private-partnerships (PPPs) as one of the means to scale-up investment in infrastructure, especially in the context of COVID-19.  

To achieve this specific outcome, ECA has been working to support a number of member-states to implement infrastructure planning tools, focusing on energy and transport, and applying methodologies developed by ECA for increased private sector participation in road safety.

It is also supporting countries to adopt policies that will attract more private sector investment through the use of PPP frameworks and other means for scaling-up infrastructure investment; and fostering more engagements between actors in the aviation industry and financial institutions within the context of COVID-19 economic recovery on the continent, she added

Furthermore, she stated that a methodology has been developed for assisting energy regulatory environment in three African countries.

The sub-programme contributed to the identification of a pipeline of 64 projects that support the PIDA initiative, which were all endorsed by African heads of state and government in February 2021. 

“Each region will have 10 projects on energy, transport, cross-boundary water and ICT. The remaining projects would target the needs that will be requested for under the presidential infrastructure initiative and also for small island development states,” she stated. 

The officer said one of the outputs delivered by her section was to mobilize capital from institutional investors (pension and sovereign wealth funds) in Africa and across the world to finance the continent’s infrastructure development and green economy needs.

ECA will strengthen its partnership with institutional investors and partners to support the development green financing markets and the establishment of a Pan African Green Infrastructure Investment Bank (AGIIB). 

There are also ongoing efforts to strengthen the capacity of member states to deepen financial markets and mobilize long-term financial instruments, it was learned.