ECA to increase Africa’s investment in infrastructure, agriculture

ECA to increase Africa’s investment in infrastructure, agriculture

THE Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) 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 (PPPs) 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 (APPRM), 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.

Also, to bring more 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.

In addition, to foster more engagements between actors in the aviation industry and financial institutions within the context of COVID-19 economic recovery on the continent.

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 (PIDA) policy brief that assesses the progress that African countries have made in achieving SDG7 target, will be launched soon,” she added.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SDG-7 aimed at ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.

Barka said the sub-program contributed to the identification of a pipeline of 64 projects that support the PIDA initiative, which was 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 mobilization of capital from institutional investors, including pension and sovereign wealth funds, in Africa and across the world.

The ECA Economic Affairs Officer explained this the capital was to finance the continent’s infrastructure development and green economy needs.

She said, going forward, ECA would strengthen its partnership with institutional investors and partners, to support the development of green financing markets and the establishment of a Pan-African Green Infrastructure Investment Bank (AGIIB).

“There are ongoing efforts to strengthen the capacity of member states to deepen financial markets and mobilize long-term financial instruments,” she said.

Barka added that the sub-program was working to identify barriers to key energy infrastructure on the continent and the number of countries that would be able to align land policy reforms with energy sector infrastructure investment in Africa. (NAN)

– Apr. 08, 2021 @ 16:42 GMT

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