ICA Secretariat to host meeting to establish Project Preparation Facilities Network
The Infrastructure Consortium for Africa Secretariat, which is hosted by the African Development Bank, will hold an inaugural meeting on June 17 and 18 in Tunis to establish a Project Preparation Facilities Network (PPFN).
The meeting will focus on the entire spectrum of activities that occur before an infrastructure project is of interest to a potential financier. The goal is to ensure that good ideas for energy, transportation, water and communications technology projects come to fruition thanks to a solid project preparation phase.
Mohamed Hassan, Coordinator of the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA), has high expectations for the meeting. “We have over 25 registered participants, including 13 funding facilities, so we are looking forward to a productive two days,” he said.
In 2011 the Multilateral Development Bank Working Group of the G20 identified Project Preparation as a key constraint to development on infrastructure and growth in Africa. Accordingly, the G20 High Level Panel then requested the ICA to investigate this issue further, leading the ICA to carry out an assessment of existing Project Preparation Facilities in Africa, which resulted in a report produced in November 2012.
“The ICA has been working very hard to deal with the challenges associated with project preparation,” continued Hassan. “We have been studying the obstacles to project preparation and we have come up with several helpful tools.”
In tandem with the 2012 report, the ICA launched The Fund Finder, an online searchable database of facilities that fund project preparation activities. Fund Finder helps project promoters and managers locate funding to start the institutional, legal, social, environmental, financial, regulatory, engineering and advisory services that are needed to go from a concept to a clearly defined and properly structured project with a clear identification and allocation of risk. A Project Preparation Facilities Network (PPFN) is the next step in making it easier to get much needed project preparation work completed. By forming a network, funding facilities can share best practices and provide fund seekers with more of a one-stop-source of information. Accordingly, a decision was made at the 2013 ICA Annual Meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, to create a PPFN (Project Preparation Facilities Network) in 2014. The June meeting is the first step in creating that network.