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Stakeholders in the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) Special Fund have recognised the need to increase facility investments to accelerate the closure of Africa’s infrastructure gap.

This need was tabled at the recent 29th Oversight Committee (OC) meeting held at the headquarters of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The meeting, was hosted by the AUC and chaired by German’s KfW Development Bank.

Topics discussed included the NEPAD-IPPF Independent Review report, the introduction of reimbursable grants as part of the new business model, the mid-year progress report, updates on continental infrastructure initiatives, and adoption of a proposed joint AUC/AUDA/AfDB Domestic Resource Mobilisation Strategy.

Also read: NEPAD-IPPF advocates for bankable project hub

Michael Andres, the Oversight Committee Chairman commended the achievements of NEPAD-IPPF and also noted that more resources are required given the increasing demands being made on the fund.

“The NEPAD-IPPF Special Fund must continue to focus on key priorities, such as PIDA Projects to support the African 2063 Agenda,” said Andres.

On the Fund’s progress made in the first semester of 2019, African Development Bank Director for Infrastructure and Urban Development Amadou Oumarou urged participants to consider the continent’s enormous infrastructure needs.

“New contributions from Spain (€3 million) and the African Development Bank (€3 million) are indications of confidence in the Fund’s ability to successfully fulfil its mandate, and also recognition that the NEPAD-IPPF is playing a critical role in infrastructure development in Africa.

It is therefore expedient for (the Fund) to be further strengthened with the necessary resources to enable it to meet its objectives and mandate,” Oumarou said.

Bankable regional infrastructure projects

AUC Director for Infrastructure and Energy, Cheikh Bedda, said: “The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), and Africa’s infrastructure priorities cannot be implemented without adequate resources committed to the NEPAD-IPPF, a critical instrument to prepare high quality bankable regional infrastructure projects across Africa.”

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Providing updates on the Fund’s operational performance NEPAD-IPPF Fund Manager Mike Salawou, stated that cumulative contributions by donor partners including the African Development Bank amounted to $102 million, out of which $96.1 million had been committed to approve 91 projects.

As at June 2019, 60 studies have been completed, nine cancelled and 22 are on-going, Salawou noted.

Among the studies completed by the Facility, 30 have so far reached financial close and attracted a physical downstream financing of $24.2 billion for physical implementation for power plants, bridges, ports, roads, hydropower schemes, ICT backbones amongst other catalytic support to infrastructure on the Continent.

Of these successful projects, 17 have been constructed, 11 are under construction and two are yet to commence.

“While disbursements of committed funds on supported projects have reached a record, beyond that and without any new contributions to the Fund, NEPAD-IPPF will not be in position to support additional project preparation activities, therefore, a need for urgent replenishment of the Special Fund,” Salawou stressed.