A New Dawn for African Infrastructure Projects
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development has done extensive work since its formation in 2001 to identify the infrastructure projects which will boost regional trade and support Africa’s economic development. Initially, over 100 projects were promulgated by different African nation states and by 2011, PIDA had completed its study and synthesised key priority infrastructure projects. These projects met the criteria of supporting regional trade and creating trade corridors between different African nations.
Lynette Chen, the CEO of the NEPAD Business Foundation (NBF) believes the time is now ripe for these infrastructure projects to get under way. “Heads of State and governments are showing greater interest in developing the infrastructure required to unlock Africa’s potential and, with the finalisation of PIDA (Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa), a new dawn of growth is upon us all,” says Chen.
PIDA’s Priority Action Plan (PAP) grouped the priority infrastructure projects together, assessed their current status and highlighted the project documentation necessary to bring these projects to markets. African heads of state and governments have revived their support for these projects through championing targeted development corridors under the Presidential Infrastructure Championship Initiative (PICI). South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma is championing the North South Corridor road and rail projects. The corridor will stretch from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, across the Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to South Africa.
The next step in the roll-out of these massive infrastructure projects is for both business and the public sector to invest in infrastructure through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) or through strategic partnerships. The NBF is mobilising the private sector to ensure that the planned infrastructure projects are a success and that they are carried through to completion, with the necessary local skills retention to provide maintenance support in the long-term.
“There is scope for business to interactively and meaningfully connect with Africa. A stronger and active private sector will be the basis for a stronger Africa,” explains Chen. “With a mandate to promote sustainable economic development in Africa through the private sector, we are confident that NBF’s programmes will move the continent forward.”
As part of meeting its objectives, the NEPAD Business Foundation (NBF), in association with Siyenza Management, are hosting the inaugural Infrastructure Africa Business Forum at the Sandton Convention Centre on the 10th and 11th July 2012. The forum will bring together private sector and public sector infrastructure players to discuss and plan the way forward for the infrastructure projects that can translate Africa’s fast-growing sectors into long-term prosperity.
Aimed at providing delegates with practical strategies and measurable outcomes through its interactive workshop-style format, the Infrastructure Africa Business Forum 2012 will expose delegates to new networks of current infrastructure players whilst giving them a clear picture of the road ahead.
Although there are a host of key PIDA projects, the event will highlight and focus on the projects which are at a more advanced stage in terms of from pre-feasability to feasibility, and project preparation phase; and which are of particular relevance to funders, private sector stakeholders and other interested parties.
These projects include the:
Missing link of the Trans-Sahara (Algeria):
A 200km missing link from Assamaka (border with Algeria) to Arlit in Niger. The total construction cost is USD 100 million and this amount has already been committed by various lending institutions, with the Government of Niger required to provide USD 8 million. Construction is scheduled to start in 2013 but it is possible that this date could be brought forward. Invitations for tender for the selection of the supervising consultant and the contractor will be concluded by the end of 2012. Construction will commence in January 2013 and the estimated completion date is December 2015.
Kinshasa – Brazzaville Bridge Road/Rail (Republic of Congo):
The project focuses on the construction of a fixed crossing linking Kinshasa and Brazzaville (DRC and the Republic of Congo) ensuring continuity in railway and road traffic to the eastern border of DRC and beyond, facilitating railway and road interconnections in central, eastern and southern Africa. The feasibility for the road section started in May 2011.