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The Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) held a one-day workshop at the African Development Bank (AfDB) headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, to discuss findings of three studies on opening up aviation services, urban transport development, and trade facilitation.
The theme of the September 28, 2016 workshop was “ICA: Support to Transport Sector”. The event was attended by Bank officials from the following five departments – the NEPAD Regional Integration and Trade Department, the Corporate Information Management and Methods department, the Transport and ICT Department, the Agriculture and Agro-Industries Department and the Private Sector. Field staff and members of ICA Secretariat staff were also present.
The primary purpose of the Workshop was to exchange ideas on the three studies commissioned by ICA. The first study on opening up Aviation services in Africa shares insights into barriers prohibiting the expansion of effective aviation services across Africa. The study on urban transport development in Sub-Saharan Africa identifies specific opportunities for investment to improve sustainable urban transport and mobility in five African cities, namely Accra, Addis Ababa, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, and Lagos. The survey on trade facilitation assesses the current transport and trade facilitation constraints in the West African Monetary Union (UEOMA) region and proposes solutions for improvement.
Participants reflected on how to implement key recommendations of the studies. These include: Establishing a consensus-building platform with key stakeholders at both regional and national levels to develop solutions in the aviation sector; Hosting an investors’ conference to discuss opportunities for improved urban transport projects delivery and; Establishing a unified tracking system that will see implementation of a centralized system to allow members track transactions, exchange data in real-time, and make electronic payments
In his concluding remarks, Mohammed Hassan, the ICA Coordinator, emphasised the importance of “disseminating findings of the three studies, sharing the recommendations, but most importantly, identifying investment opportunities in Africa’s transport sector.
“Our all-inclusive consultations will undoubtedly help to fast track project delivery within the Bank, and improve coordination, which is key to success when we engage external stakeholders and audiences,” he said.
Hosted by the AfDB, ICA was launched at the 2005 G8 Gleneagles Summit. Its mission is to help improve the lives and economic well-being of African people by supporting and promoting increased infrastructure investment from both public and private sources.
It also acts as a platform to increase infrastructure financing, helping to remove policy and technical barriers. In addition, the ICA facilitates greater cooperation among stakeholders, and fosters knowledge exchange through monitoring, reporting and sharing best practices.