Making NEPAD infrastructure projects more attractive for private investment

15/05/2005
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The objective of the seminar which was held during the Annual Meetings of the ADB was to provide a platform on which the key stakeholders could dialogue with the private sector to identify actions and strategies that could catalyze an increased level of private sector participation in the implementation of the NEPAD Short Term Action Plan (STAP), in particular and the continent’s infrastructure in general.

More than 250 participants from the ABR, the African and international private sector, African Governments, academia and the civil society attended the seminar. Other participants included the ADB, NEPAD and Development Partners.

Presentations were made on the following themes: (i) the current status of the implementation of STAP and opportunities for Private Sector Participation (PSP); (ii) the adequacy of Legal and Regulatory framework for PSP in NEPAD projects; (iii) Best practices and lessons learned from two NEPAD projects; and (iv) making NEPAD infrastructure projects more attractive for private investment

The final session organized in the form of a Roundtable discussion focused on the role of the MDBs/IFIs in mitigating risks to stimulate private sector participation in infrastructure.

At the end of the seminar, participants recommended inter alia, that (i) legislative guide on privately financed infrastructure projects of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Laws (UNCITRAL) be adapted as a basis for the design of new African - wide legal instruments; (ii) lessons learnt from NEPAD projects as well as other best practices should be widely disseminated; (iii) strong government and sub regional support is important for the successful implementation of large scale multinational NEPAD infrastructure projects as demonstrated in case of the West African Gas Pipeline Project (WAPCO) by the strong country support of Nigeria (iv)  governments should undertake sector reforms to ensure genuine competition and well regulated infrastructure markets; (v) flexible instruments and innovative structures should be put in place in order to meet the unique challenges of African infrastructure projects; and (vi) linkages should be created with women institutions to facilitate their involvement in infrastructure and in other NEPAD initiatives.

As final recommendation, it was agreed that the NEPAD Secretariat, NEPAD, ABR, NEPAD Business Group and ADB should jointly prepare a plan of action for the implementation of the recommendations.