The New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) held discussions with the Infrastructure Project Preparation and Development Unit (PPDU) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) based in Lomé, Togo, with a view to strengthening collaboration on the preparation of regional infrastructure projects in West Africa. The two institutions agreed to conclude an Operational Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to underpin their cooperation.
The consultations were held on the margins of the “ECOWAS Technical Meeting on PPP Structuring and Guarantee Mechanisms for the Financing of ECOWAS Priority Infrastructure Projects” held at the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (BIDC), in Lomé on March 14, 2017.
Speaking during the discussions, Sediko Douka, PPDU Director, said, “The proposed partnership between PPDU and NEPAD-IPPF will help to bring more resources to project preparation in West Africa given the growing demand for project preparation in energy including renewable energy, rail transport, air transport, maritime transport and shipping”.
Shem Simuyemba, NEPAD-IPPF Coordinator, said NEPAD-IPPF has a long track record working with partners in West Africa on the preparation of major cross-border regional projects in energy, transport and trans-boundary water projects.
“The partnership will strengthen the collective capacity for the two institutions to offer project preparation support to the region for bankable infrastructure projects for different categories of financiers, the public sector and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), projects amenable to Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) and those for off-take by private sector investors given growing private sector interest in infrastructure in Africa”, he added.
The level of infrastructure development in West Africa, which encompasses transportation, energy, telecommunications and water, is insufficient with regard to existing demand driven by deepening regional integration, growing economies and strong demographics. Therefore, the Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) unanimously approved, in January 2012, the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) defining priority infrastructure projects to integrate and interconnect the Continent. ECOWAS has been mandated to co-ordinate the implementation of the West African component of PIDA.
It is against this background that the ECOWAS Commission in August 2011, created the PPDU with the overall objective of enhancing capacity to develop and prepare bankable regional infrastructure projects to foster economic growth in the ECOWAS region with initial funding provided by Spain.
NEPAD-IPPF, which has been in existence for over than years now, is a recognized partner for African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) including ECOWAS having supported the West African region to prepare a number of major regional infrastructure projects in energy, transport and water.
Over the last years, NEPAD-IPPF has committed nearly US$100 million to the preparation of bankable infrastructure projects unlocking US$7.83 billion in investments. NEPAD-IPPF is a Multi-Donor Special Fund supported by Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom (UK), Denmark, Norway and Spain as well as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on a co-financing on specific projects.
ECOWAS is a regional economic community, comprising 15 Member States (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo) and was founded in 1975. A key aspect of its mandate is to promote economic integration in all fields of economic activity, particularly, industry, transport, telecommunications, energy and agriculture.
Story credit: AfDB