The Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) discussed findings on opening up aviation, urban transport development and trade facilitation at a one-day workshop in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on 28 September. This aimed to swap ideas on the findings of three studies that ICA had commissioned.

ICA was launched at the 2005 Gleneagles Summit of the G8 grouping. Its mission is to help improve the lives and economic well-being of Africans by supporting and promoting increased infrastructure investment from both public and private sources. This will mean building knowledge and expertise in key public-private partnership (African PPP) infrastructure projects. ICA is hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The first study is on opening up aviation services in Africa looks at the barriers which are stopping effective aviation services from expanding across Africa.

The second study, on urban transport development in Sub-Saharan Africa focused on five African cities: Accra, Addis Ababa, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, and Lagos. It identified specific opportunities for investment to improve sustainable urban transport and mobility through African transport PPP projects.

The third study was on trade facilitation and assessed transport and trade facilitation constraints in the West African Monetary Union (UEOMA) region and proposed improvements.

Participants from five AfDB departments and field staff and others made suggestions on how to implement key recommendations of the studies.  These include:

  • Establish a consensus-building platform with key stakeholders at both regional and national levels to develop solutions in the aviation sector
  • Host an investors’ conference to discuss opportunities for improved delivery of urban-transport projects
  • Establish a unified tracking system to implement a centralized system to allow members to track transactions, exchange data in real-time and make electronic payments. 

The ICA platform increases infrastructure financing for African PPP projects, helping to remove policy and technical barriers. In addition, it facilitates more cooperation among stakeholders, and offers monitoring, reporting and sharing best practices to foster knowledge exchange.

Mohammed Hassan, the ICA Coordinator, said the speed of delivering African PPP infrastructure projects is key to their success with investors and other stakeholders: “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.”