Donors to Increase Financial Support to NEPAD IPPF
Libreville, Gabon, 11/06/08-Donors at the 8th NEPAD Infrastructure Project Facility, NEPAD-IPPF Oversight Committee Meeting in Libreville, Gabon, have pledged to contribute more than US$ 10 million, to the facility to support its capacity building activities for Regional Economic Communities (RECs). DFID, during the two-day meeting, announced it was contributing US$ 5 million for the operationalization of the AU Commission’s Coordination Mechanism, while Germany, for its part, is considering contributing more than €2 million pledged last year.
Their endeavour surpasses clear commitments made during a meeting in Tunis in December 2007, where Norway promised NOK 45m (US$8m); UK (DFID) £6 million (US$12.4m) and Germany US$2.9 million.
The event came on the heels of key achievements scored by the four-year host, the African Development Bank.
According to NEPAD-IPPF’s Task Manager, Mike Salawou, disbursement has increased this year and 22 regional infrastructure projects have been approved for a total commitment of US$ 13.7 million. The facility is increasing its staff, scaling up investment in infrastructure, as demonstrated by the recent record-level increase in the ADF XI, and using a database to manage projects. Capping its recent achievements is AfDB's contribution of UA 6.3 million to the Special Fund.
After welcoming the increase in pledges and acknowledging the Bank’s progress, the Oversight Committee, under the chairmanship of the Director of Infrastructure at the African Union Commission, Aboubakari Baba Moussa, commended the AfDB for the progress and urged it to increase support to regional infrastructure project preparation and capacity building for RECs, reinforce regional and continental coordination, hire more staff for the facility and mobilize more resources.
Delegates discussed an initiative to strengthen management and governance of the fund, particularly representation of donors on the Committee. It also considered actions recommended at the 7th OC meeting - the AfDB to propose staffing options and mobilize additional funds into the IPPF, and the OC to invite the private sector and potential donors to future meetings; increase collaboration with EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund; address clean energy and climate change issues, and make commitments above US$1.827 million.
The meeting announced the election of DFID as Chair of Oversight Committee Meetings until 2010, and scheduled the 9th meeting in Tunis in December 2008.
The bi-annual event, which started June 10, was attended by the Canadian International Development Agency, DfID from the UK, the Danish government, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, AU Commission, the NEPAD Secretariat, the AfDB and Germany. The event was attended by prominent persons such as Gabon's Minister of Trade, Industrial Development and NEPAD, Aboubakari Baba Moussa; the Director of Infrastructure at the African Union Commission, ECCAS Secretary General, representatives of Regional Economic Communities, specialised agencies, private sector and a variety of stakeholders from the NEPAD IPPF focus sector.
AfDB representatives included Messrs. M. Mahmoud, Interim Director of the NEPAD, Regional Integration and Trade department, A. Odukoumaiya, A. Rugamba, T. Damhaug, and Mrs. C. Onukogou. The African Development Bank has been the host of the facility since 2004.