The Group of Eight most industrialized countries (G8) has expressed strong support for the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group’s priorities, especially its initiative on infrastructure and the African Legal Support Facility – which helps countries negotiate better contracts in the natural resources sector.
In a final communiqué after meeting in Northern Ireland, the G8 also called for strong replenishment of the African Development Fund – which supports a range of poverty reduction programmes, including infrastructure development and capacity building.
“The G8 urges multilateral development institutions to establish and prioritise, as part of ongoing work on International Development Association-17, African Development Fund 13 and European Development Fund-11 replenishments, more effective mechanisms for collaboration on project preparation, funding and risk mitigation for Africa’s regional infrastructure programmes, such as the Programme for Infrastructure Development (PIDA). The G8 recognises the work being done by the G20 on financing for infrastructure in Africa,” the G8 communiqué said.
“The G8 commits to explore and identify in advance of our next meeting the further steps it can take together or individually, in collaboration with the private sector, International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and other international organisations to facilitate institutional investment flows into bankable trade-related infrastructure projects in developing countries,” it said.
“We welcome the financial support provided to the African Development Bank’s African Legal Support Facility and the Facility for Fair Exploitation of Extractive Resources in Africa, and encourage other countries to commit to these facilities. In support of such initiatives, we will partner with resource rich developing countries, the private sector and civil society to strengthen capacity and increase transparency in the extractive sectors,” it concluded.
The African Legal Support Facility is a legal technical assistance facility that helps low income countries address a growing problem of litigation by vulture funds as well as a technical advisory facility that helps regional member countries to negotiate extractive resource contracts to create an appropriate, enabling environment with modern legal and regulatory frameworks for the extractive resources sector.
AfDB President Donald Kaberuka welcomed the G8 communiqué, saying it reflected recognition of African priorities and an appetite for partnership between the G8 and African leaders.
“Africa seeks to trade her way out of poverty, but to do so she must deal with the issue of the cost of doing business, the risk of small fragmented markets through hard and soft infrastructure,” he said.