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ECA To increase Investment In Infrastructure In Africa

Oluwasina Phillip

The Economic Commission for Africa says it is working with African countries to increase investments in infrastructure and agriculture on the continent.

A statement by the ECA Communications Section on Thursday in Addis Ababa quoted Habiba Ben Barka as saying that the ECA was also working to strengthen the private sector business environment in energy and infrastructure development.

Barka, Economic Affairs Officer with the Private Sector Development and Finance Division, listed the increasing use of Public-Private-Partnerships as one of the means to scale up investment in infrastructure, especially in the context of COVID-19.

In a presentation she made at the ECA’s first quarter Accountability and Programme Performance Review Meeting, Barka said that in order to achieve this specific outcome, the ECA had identified three key strategic activities.

They included supporting 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.

Barka said that among other things, a methodology had been developed for assisting the energy regulatory environment in three African countries.

“A Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa policy brief that assesses the progress that African countries have made in achieving SDG7 target will be launched soon,” she added.

The SDG-7 aimed at ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.
Barka said 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 said.

Barka noted that one of the outputs delivered by her section was the mobilisation of capital from institutional investors, including pension and sovereign wealth funds, in Africa and across the world.

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