By Cyber Era Staff
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) held its 30th Oversight Committee meeting for the Special Fund at the headquarters of the East African Community (EAC), in Arusha, Tanzania.
The meeting which took place on the 13th and 14th of February 2020, convened over 30 participants, including donors providing financial support to the NEPAD-IPPF Special Fund, representatives of the African Development Bank (AfDB), African Union Commission(AUC), African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), Regional Economic Communities, Regional Power Pools, Corridors Authorities and Transboundary River basin organizations.
Members agreed to implement recommendations of NEPAD-IPPF’s independent evaluation held in 2019, and also approved operational reforms and the 2020 work programme.
EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Planning and Infrastructure, Steven Mlote, thanked the Bank for its generous support over the past 20 years which he said had resulted in numerous achievements in various sectors including transport, energy, one stop border posts, ICT and Trans-Boundary Water Projects.
He said the recently completed Arusha-Tengeru dual carriageway and the Arusha by-pass had substantially improved traffic flow in the Arusha region while the counterpart section in Kenya – the Taveta-Mwatate road, has opened up a new and shorter trade and transport route for Rwanda and Burundi from the port of Mombasa.
“Along the Coast of East Africa, the transport corridor from Malindi in Kenya to Bagamoyo in Tanzania is due for upgrading with funds from the Bank. It is gratifying to note that its preparation was funded by the NEPAD-IPPF. This road will close the missing surface transport link between the EAC and SADC regions which traverses Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique,” he added.
The successes of initial Bank-funded multinational projects between Kenya and Tanzania provided the impetus to widen the geographical spread to other EAC partner states with current projects underway to link Tanzania to the three landlocked states of Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda.
“To date, NEPAD-IPPF has extended support to the EAC to the tune of almost US$15 million for road and rail soft infrastructure projects over a period of 13 years,” said Mlote.
Also represented at the meeting were development partners KfW, and the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Business which both acknowledged the pivotal role NEPAD-IPPF continues to play in the infrastructure space on the continent. They equally recognized the need for more resources to enable the fund to achieve more.
Representive of the Ministry of Economy, Spain Laura González Villarejo said in her statement that Africa was a priority region for Spain. She added that the Spanish Council of Ministers’ long term strategic plan for Africa demonstrated the interest of Spain in Africa.
The Oversight Committee Chairman, Michael Andres from KfW reiterated the full support of Germany for the Fund. He thanked the NEPAD-IPPF team led by Bank Division Manager Infrastructure & Partnerships, Mike Salawou for the good performance of the fund during 2019, for a well-organized meeting and the East African Community Secretariat for hosting the event. He emphasized the need for joint effort from all concerned parties including the RECs to seek funding for the facility.
AUC representative Yagouba Traore called upon AUC Member states to support the Fund.
Director of Infrastructure at the African Development Bank, Amadou Oumarou reaffirmed the institution’s commitment to mobilize more resources for NEPAD-IPPF and highlighted a Euro 3 million(US$3.26million) contribution received by the facility from the Spanish government in 2019. Infrastructure development would be more critical as the continent sought to make the African Continental Free Trade Area functional, he said.
“The facility has maintained a sustained drive towards building partnerships and can report on positive co-financing results. Notwithstanding, our efforts to secure more resources will continue through 2020, both from African governments and stakeholders as well as in collaboration with private sector companies and philanthropists,” Oumarou said.
Going forward, implementing cost recovery instruments to support Public Private Partnership projects to attract more private sector financing downstream would be an important focus for the NEPAD-IPPF, he added.
The meeting ended with a visit to the Namanga “One Stop Border Post” between Tanzania-Kenya. This project funded by NEPAD-IPPF, has helped increase trade and tourism and has also stimulated the regional economy within the East African Community.