By Staff Reporter

A two-day meeting to discuss financing for Africa’s infrastructure projects has ended in Dakar, Senegal, with calls for increased collaboration and resource mobilization, as well as accelerated implementation of regional infrastructure projects across the continent.

The summit was held on 2 and 3 February under the patronage of President Macky Sall of Senegal, Chairperson of the African Union, and attended by Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame, as well as officials and experts from African Union member states, the private sector, development finance institutions, development partners, AUDA-NEPAD, AfDB, ECA and RECs.

The event, titled “the Second Dakar Financing Summit for Africa’s Infrastructure,” sought to increase and secure the necessary funding to prepare projects of the Second Priority Action Plan of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA PAP 2), and to match project financing needs with existing sources of finance.

The main outcome of the summit was the “Dakar Declaration on Synergies of Action for Infrastructure Financing in Africa” in which AUDA-NEPAD, AfDB, ECA, and RECs are commended for their joint efforts to improve the implementation of regional infrastructure projects in Africa. It urges AUDA-NEPAD, AfDB, regional development banks, ECA, RECs, AFREXIMBANK and AfCFTA Secretariat to strengthen mutual cooperation in order to promote infrastructure for intra-African trade.

A highlight of the summit was the signing of an MoU between Afreximbank and AUDA-NEPAD on the creation of a facility to fund the preparation of PIDA projects. This is an important development given that many PIDA projects have stalled at the preparatory stage. The need for Africa Africa to take control of the implementation of its infrastructure projects was also highlighted.

As a co-organizer of the summit, ECA’s team played an important role, including participating in roundtable discussions and serving as panel moderators. The Commission’s delegation included Robert Lisinge, Chief of the Energy, Infrastructure and Services Section and Officer in Charge of the Private Sector Development and Finance Division; Ngone Diop, Director of the Commission’s Sub-Regional Office for West Africa; and Francis Ikome, Chief of the Regional Integration Section of the Regional Integration and Trade Division.