The 2nd Dakar Financing Summit for Africa’s Infrastructure Development (DFS-2) will take place between the 1st and 3rd of February in Dakar, Senegal, under the patronage of the Chairperson of the African Union cum Senegalese President Macky Sall.
It will be recalled that the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government adopted the 2012–2040 Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) in 2012, along with its 1st Priority Action Plan (PIDA PAP-1), covering the period 2012–2020. PIDA is the strategic masterplan for transforming Africa through the provision of modern infrastructure as a means to strengthen the continent’s competitiveness and integration into the global economy.
In this direction, the 1st Dakar African Infrastructure Financing Summit (DFS-1) was held in 2014 to find strategies for accelerating Africa’s infrastructural development, culminating in the adoption of the Dakar Agenda for Action (DAA), meant to leverage public-private partnerships for infrastructure transformation, including fast-tracking PIDA PAP-1’s implementation. In 2021, the AU Assembly adopted the 2nd PIDA Priority Action Plan (PIDA PAP II) [2021- 2030] , a $160 billion basket of 69 projects covering the energy, ICT, transportation, and water sectors, designed to promote a corridor approach that is also gender-sensitive and climate-friendly.
DFS-2, which is being organized under the theme “Keeping the momentum for continental infrastructure transformation” by the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), brings together African Heads of State, AU Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the private sector, Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), institutional investors, and development partners. It therefore seeks to facilitate public, private, and mixed-funding for prioritized infrastructure projects and, subsequently, catalyze support from governments, the private sector, development partners, and financial institutions to advance the implementation of PIDA PAP II projects.
Thus, the Summit will feature Business to Business (B2B), networking and experience-sharing sessions on project preparation and structured financing, just as action plans for selected projects will also be presented to garner the support and commitment of the public sector as well as measure the private sector’s appetite for investment in the selected projects. These sessions will be attended by African ministers responsible for finance, economic development, infrastructure, transport, energy, water, and ICTs, as well as private sector leaders and heads of regional institutions.
By fostering discussions between policymakers and investors, DFS-2 will give the investors the opportunity to engage directly with project managers, better understand the risks and obstacles to the projects’ implementation, and subsequently make informed decisions about the PIDA PAP2 projects.
African leaders expected at the Summit include President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Chairperson of NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC); President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Chairperson of the Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative (PICI); President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger, AU Champion on Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialisation, and Productive Transformation; as well as President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, the AU Champion of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).
DFS-2 is coming against the backdrop of a World Bank statistics indicating Africa’s poor infrastructure reduces the continent’s business productivity by up to 40%, while the African Development Bank’s estimates reveal boosting the continent’s infrastructure requires a total of $130–170 billion yearly, with a yearly financing gap in the range of $68–108. No doubt, infrastructure is a key enabler of inclusive and sustainable economic growth, particularly as Africa begins the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
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