AFDB: Africa needs to accelerate private sector investment in infrastructure
Juil22

AFDB: Africa needs to accelerate private sector investment in infrastructure

AFDB: Africa needs to accelerate private sector investment in infrastructure By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache   The Kenyan Urgent call President Uhuru Kenyatta has made an urgent call for developing and funding bankable infrastructure projects to drive Africa’s growth agenda during the Africa50 General shareholders Meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya. President Kenyatta said support for bankable projects in energy, transport, ICT, water and sanitation provide unprecedented opportunities for private sector participation. “The private sector must step up and help us close the infrastructure gap on the African continent. Public funding is limited, and there are competing priorities,” he said. Kenyatta announced Kenya would double its current shareholding investment in Africa50 to US$ 100 million. “We must have the confidence to trust and invest in our own infrastructure. Let us grow our partnership and make Africa50 a success.” ” A financing gap of US$ $68 – 108 billion” According to statistics provided by the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) the continent’s infrastructure funding requirements stand at close to US$ 170 billion a year, leaving a financing gap of US$ $68 – 108 billion. African Development Bank President and Chairman of Africa50, Akinwumi Adesina, said, “We need to act with speed and urgency. Our people expect nothing else.” He emphasized the importance of tackling factors that inhibit private sector infrastructure investments, including high costs of financing, weak regulations,  lack of cost reflective tariffs, low profitability, and weak regulatory frameworks for public-private partnerships. Private sector infrastructure financing in Africa remains low, averaging US$ 6 billion per year. In 2016, the figure dipped to US$ 2.6 billion. Adesina said Africa requires new models of financing infrastructure. “We must work smart to attract greater levels of investment financing for infrastructure development in Africa. Globally, there is approximately a US$ 120 trillion pool of savings and private equity. Africa must creatively attract some of this into the continent,” he said. Africa50 In response to Africa’s infrastructure finance deficit, the African Development Bank has launched the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) set to take place in South Africa in November 2018. The transaction-based forum is expected to be a gathering of global pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors, and key private sector players. Adesina commended President Kenyatta for the country’s bold commitment to and investments in infrastructure development over the last 5 years. Infrastructure accounts for 77% of the Bank’s Kenya portfolio. “Mr. President, you were one of the first African leaders to support the creation of Africa50, which I am honored to chair,” said Adesina. “The African Development Bank, of which I am President, helped create Africa50 because we believe new institutional models are needed to close Africa’s...

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Power Africa:  the US key strategy
Août25

Power Africa: the US key strategy

Power Africa: the US key strategy On August 4, the United States of America  submitted a communication to the United Nations regarding its participation in the next United Nations climate change negotiations in Bonn. A shift and a global reflection for its key strategy: Power Africa. Analysis. By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache August 25 2017 On August 4, the United States submitted a communication to the United Nations regarding its participation in the next United Nations climate change negotiations in Bonn and other events related to climate change. The US will indeed be part of the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP-23) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. In recent a press release, the State department indicated that this participation aims “to protect U.S. interests and ensure all future policy options remain open to the administration.” And it added: “such participation will include ongoing negotiations related to guidance for implementing the Paris Agreement”. On June 1, however, the US president, Donald Trump announced his intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. But while he was in Paris during Bastille Day in july as a host of the French President Emmanuel Macron, he said during a press conference that “something can happen”. It means that there is a shift in the US position toward the Paris Accord. In the  press released , it mentionned that the US president “is open to re-engaging in the Paris Agreement if the United States can identify terms that are more favorable to it, its businesses, its workers, its people, and its taxpayers.” The US said its willing to find “a balanced approach to climate policy” and will promote economic growth and ensure energy security with various approaches. “ We will continue to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions through innovation and technology breakthroughs, and work with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently and deploy renewable and other clean energy sources,” related the press release. Achieving Power Africa Recently, the United States of America government led initiative, Power Africa, has released its annual report. Power Africa is the US initiative aims to electrify Africa with more than 150 public and private sector partners, dedicated to invest 54 billion US dollars to achieve Power Africa’s goals. Power Africa wants to increase installed generation capacity by 30,000 megawatts (MW) and adding 60 million new electricity connections by 2030. The 2017 report highlights how Power Africa has facilitated more than 10 million electrical connections for more than 50 million people in Africa through initiative such as Power Africa’s Women in African Power (WiAP) network. This report shows financing agreements which have generated more than 500 million US...

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The United States and Togo to co-host AGOA on August
Juil03

The United States and Togo to co-host AGOA on August

The United States and Togo to co-host AGOA on August   By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache The United States of America and Togo will co-host the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum in Lome, Togo from Aug. 8-10. Senior government officials from the US and 38 Sub-Saharan African countries will discuss how to boost economic cooperation and trade between the US and Africa.“Patnering for prosperity through Trade” will be the theme of this event.   According to a press release, the 2017 Forum will explore how countries can continue to maximize the benefits of AGOA in a rapidly changing economic landscape, and highlight the important role played by women, civil society, and the private sector in promoting trade, expanding inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and generating prosperity. Since 2000, the US government works on AGOA with sub-Saharan Africa. Following the AGOA law, a special Forum has to be convened each year to analyze issues related to the implementation of the law and issues of economic cooperation and trade. In the past few years AGOA forum was organized in  Mauritius, Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Gabon. This year, the forum will be led by U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer and include senior officials from the U.S. Departments of State, Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Labor, Transportation, Treasury, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, as well as the National Security Council, Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Export-Import Bank, the Small Business Administration, and the United States African Development Fund.  Members of Congress from both parties will also attend the Forum.  ...

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COP 22: Why Marrakesh Is More Important Than Paris COP21? – Olumide Idowu
Oct31

COP 22: Why Marrakesh Is More Important Than Paris COP21? – Olumide Idowu

COP 22: Why Marrakesh Is More Important Than Paris COP21? COP 22 will be held in Marrakesh, Morocco, from 7 to 18 November 2016. COP 20 in Lima was tagged the COP of negotiations of a universal climate change agreement, COP 21 in Paris last year was a COP of Agreement while COP 22 in Morocco is tagged the COP of Implementation. Taking critical decisions to ensure the implementation of the Paris Agreement is the major endeavor at COP 22 in Morocco. Last year, African Development Bank support contributed significantly to ensuring that Africa’s concerns were addressed in the Paris Agreement. The Bank has also committed to triple its climate change finance to about USD 5 billion per year and to provide USD 12 billion on renewable energy investments by 2020. In consistence with the New Deal on Energy for Africa that provides a good entry point for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and given that COP 22 is a key milestone for the implementation of that Agreement, it is important that Africa is fully on board, while ensuring linkages with the Bank’s High Fives. “To make the Paris Agreement a real-world success story we need more than a historic political agreement, we need practical climate action to “decouple GDP from GHG” – or economic growth from greenhouse gases – as UN climate chief Christiana Figureres put it during a lecture at Climate-KIC partner the Grantham Institute.” Fours ways Marrakesh is going to help achieve that: Going from National to Global Action Plans is very important: In the run up to Paris, countries submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Now, they are preparing their first climate action plans (NDCs) – dropping the ‘Intended’ from the title – which will be updated every five years and should represent an increase in ambition. This is the often cited ‘ratcheting’ mechanism built into the Paris Agreement. In Marrakesh, countries will hope to agree on how the stock-taking exercise should work every five years, and how they can make sure it will indeed ratchet up the level of ambition around the world. The action plans outline the post-2020 climate actions of each country and contain details such as emission-reduction targets and how governments plan to make those happen. A range of policies, including those addressing the aviation and maritime sectors (which are missing from the Paris Agreement), need to be drawn up and implemented to create what is often called the “enabling environment” for the transition to a low-carbon economy.   Making Measuring Progress Transparent will keep the commitment: Perhaps even more important, are...

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Climate finance: Crucial for COP 22
Oct14

Climate finance: Crucial for COP 22

  Climate Finance: Crucial for COP 22 By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache   Paris Agreement  «  I want that the question of the implementation of finance will be fixed before the opening of  COP 22.» Not easy.  But this is what the French Minister, Ségolène Royal  said  last week, during the press conference on the enter into force of the Paris agreement. The Paris agreement will enter into force the 4 of November.  At least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions have ratified it. “The reason we were able to pass the required threshold so early is that many of the largest emitters in the world – including the United States, China, India, the EU and a number of its member states – recognized the need to continue the momentum from Paris and joined swiftly to bring this Agreement into force as quickly as possible,”  Secretary of State John Kerry said in a press release published a week ago. Challenges But there are still several issues to achieve the 1,5° required by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change by 2100.   The national pledges are far beyond  the 1,5° required, reaching currently 3°, and the climate finance  is still an enigma for many experts.  The Paris Agreement specifies that there is  a commitment to review national pledges every five years. For the climate finance,  it is a different story. Many climate finance mechanisms exist but are unreachable  in Africa according to experts. In 2009, during the Conference of the Parties in Copenhaguen, a 100 billion US Dollars fund has been announced to help developing countries fighting against climate change by 2020. This fact was emphasized in the Paris Agreement. One of the sources of this climate finance is the UN Green Climate fund. With $10.3 billion,  there is a long way to go for funding this UN Fund, observers note. But for the French Ministry of Environment, they will be “a big push for funding it”. The Green Climate  Fund(GCF) “The GCF has made great progress by raising a US$10 billion budget – a really positive sign. But the challenge now is to use this to approve the game-changing programmes that will really transform economies. Our message to the board is more speed and less haste, advised the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) recently in a Q and A.” .For  the chief economist IIED, Paul Steele, the process of accreditation should change. The Board Member of the Green Climate Fund should choose ministries of local government rather than multilateral agencies.  “It will better target the most needed people,”   Steele noted. To him, the Green Climate Fund board...

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