EAC hosts the 30th New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) Oversight Committee in Arusha
February 20, 2020 | 0 Comments
|The meeting which took place on the 13th and 14th of February 2020, convened over 30 participants|
ARUSHA, Tanzania, February 19, 2020/ — The New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) held its 30th Oversight Committee meeting for the Special Fund at the headquarters of the East African Community, in Arusha, Tanzania.
The meeting which took place on the 13th and 14th of February 2020, convened over 30 participants, including donors providing financial support to the NEPAD-IPPF Special Fund, representatives of the African Development Bank, African Union Commission, African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), Regional Economic Communities, Regional Power Pools, Corridors Authorities and Transboundary River basin organizations.
Members agreed to implement recommendations of NEPAD-IPPF’s independent evaluation held in 2019, and also approved operational reforms and the 2020 work program.
EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Planning and Infrastructure, Steven Mlote, thanked the Bank for its generous support over the past 20 years which he said had resulted in numerous achievements in various sectors including transport, energy, one stop border posts, ICT and Trans-Boundary Water Projects.
He said the recently completed Arusha-Tengeru dual carriageway and the Arusha by-pass had substantially improved traffic flow in the Arusha region while the counterpart section in Kenya – the Taveta-Mwatate road, has opened up a new and shorter trade and transport route for Rwanda and Burundi from the port of Mombasa.
“Along the Coast of East Africa, the transport corridor from Malindi in Kenya to Bagamoyo in Tanzania is due for upgrading with funds from the Bank. It is gratifying to note that its preparation was funded by the NEPAD-IPPF. This road will close the missing surface transport link between the EAC and SADC regions which traverses Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique,” he added.
The successes of initial Bank-funded multinational projects between Kenya and Tanzania provided the impetus to widen the geographical spread to other EAC partner states with current projects underway to link Tanzania to the three landlocked states of Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda.
“To date, NEPAD-IPPF has extended support to the EAC to the tune of almost $15 million for road and rail soft infrastructure projects over a period of 13 years,” said Mlote.
Also represented at the meeting were development partners KfW, and the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Business which both acknowledged the pivotal role NEPAD-IPPF continues to play in the infrastructure space on the continent. They equally recognized the need for more resources to enable the fund to achieve more.
Laura González Villarejo representing the Ministry of Economy, Spain said in her statement that Africa is a priority region for Spain. She added that the Spanish Council of Ministers’ long term strategic plan for Africa demonstrated the interest of Spain in Africa.
Michael Andres from KfW, the Oversight Committee Chairman, reiterated the full support of Germany for the Fund. He thanked the NEPAD-IPPF team led by Mike Salawou, Bank Division Manager Infrastructure & Partnerships, for the good performance of the fund during 2019, for a well-organized meeting and the East African Community Secretariat for hosting the event. He emphasized the need for joint effort from all concerned parties including the RECs to seek funding for the facility.
AUC representative Mr. Yagouba Traore called upon AUC Member states to support the Fund.
Director of Infrastructure at the African Development Bank, Mr. Amadou Oumarou reaffirmed the institution’s commitment to mobilize more resources for NEPAD-IPPF and highlighted a Euro 3 million contribution received by the facility from the Spanish government in 2019. Infrastructure development would be more critical as the continent sought to make the African Continental Free Trade Area functional, he said.
“The facility has maintained a sustained drive towards building partnerships and can report on positive co-financing results. Notwithstanding, our efforts to secure more resources will continue through 2020, both from African governments and stakeholders as well as in collaboration with private sector companies and philanthropists,” Oumarou said.
Going forward, implementing cost recovery instruments to support Public Private Partnership projects to attract more private sector financing downstream would be an important focus for the NEPAD-IPPF, he added.
The meeting ended with a visit to the Namanga “One Stop Border Post” between Tanzania-Kenya. This project funded by NEPAD-IPPF, has helped increase trade and tourism and has also stimulated the regional economy within the East African Community.
African Union Commission calls for further financial input for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) Special Fund
July 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
|The African Development Bank approved in June 2019 the allocation of UA 3 million from its 2018 Net Income to NEPAD-IPPF|
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, July 5, 2019/ — The 29th Oversight Committee (OC) meeting of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) Special Fund held at the headquarters of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has ended with calls for increased investments to accelerate the closure of Africa’s infrastructure gap.
The meeting, held on 28 June 2019, was hosted by the AUC and chaired by KfW Development Bank (Germany). Topics discussed included the NEPAD-IPPF Independent Review report, the introduction of reimbursable grants as part of the new business model, the mid-year progress report, updates on continental infrastructure initiatives, and adoption of a proposed joint AUC/AUDA/AfDB Domestic Resource Mobilization Strategy.
Michael Andres, the Oversight Committee Chairman, commended the achievements of NEPAD-IPPF and noted that more resources are required given the increasing demands being made on the fund.
“The NEPAD-IPPF Special Fund must continue to focus on key priorities, such as PIDA Projects to support the African 2063 Agenda.” Andres said.
While speaking on the Fund’s progress in the first semester of 2019, African Development Bank Director for Infrastructure and Urban Development Amadou Oumarou urged participants to consider the continent’s enormous infrastructure needs.
“New contributions from Spain (Euro 3 million) and the African Development Bank (UA 3 million) are indications of confidence in the Fund’s ability to successfully fulfil its mandate, and also recognition that the NEPAD-IPPF is playing a critical role in infrastructure development in Africa. It is therefore expedient for (the Fund) to be further strengthened with the necessary resources to enable it to meet its objectives and mandate,” Oumarou said.
The meeting convened over 30 participants including donors providing financial support to the NEPAD-IPPF Special Fund, representatives from the African Development Bank, the African Union Commission, the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), River Basin organizations and regional corridors authorities.
For AUC Director for Infrastructure and Energy, Cheikh Bedda, “The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), and Africa’s infrastructure priorities cannot be implemented without adequate resources committed to the NEPAD-IPPF, a critical instrument to prepare high quality bankable regional infrastructure projects across Africa”.
Providing updates on the Fund’s operational performance NEPAD-IPPF Fund Manager Mike Salawou, stated that cumulative contributions by donor partners including the African Development Bank amounted to $102 million, out of which $96.1 million had been committed to approve 91 projects. As at June 2019, 60 studies have been completed, 9 cancelled and 22 are on-going, he noted.
The African Development Bank approved in June 2019 the allocation of UA 3 million from its 2018 Net Income to NEPAD-IPPF. In addition, the Spanish Government announced a new contribution of EUR 3 million to NEPAD-IPPF in May 2019.
Among the studies completed by the Facility, 30 have so far reached financial close and attracted financing of $24.2 billion for physical implementation of power plants, bridges, ports, roads, hydropower schemes, and ICT projects. Of these successful projects, 17 have been constructed, 11 are under construction and two are yet to commence.
“While disbursements of committed funds on supported projects have reached a record, beyond that and without any new contributions to the Fund, NEPAD-IPPF will not be in position to support additional project preparation activities, therefore, there is a need for urgent replenishment of the Special Fund,” Salawou stressed.
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The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) transformation into the African Union Development Agency
July 10, 2018 | 0 Comments
|The Assembly approved the establishment of African Union Development Agency as the technical body of the African Union with its own legal identity|
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, July 9, 2018/ — At the recent 31st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of African Union Heads of State and Government in Nouakchott, Mauritania, African Heads of State and Government received several reports, including the status of the implementation of the AU Institutional Reforms presented by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. President Kagame is the current chair of the African Union and the champion for the AU Institutional Reforms process.
During the Summit in Nouakchott, a decision was officially taken on the transformation of the NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency into the African Union Development Agency.
The Assembly approved the establishment of African Union Development Agency as the technical body of the African Union with its own legal identity, defined by its own statute. The statue will be developed and presented for adoption at the next AU Summit in January 2019.
The Assembly commended the leadership of Senegalese President, H.E Macky Sall, current Chairperson of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee, for reinforcing the credibility of NEPAD that has been acknowledged in the international community, including the G20 and the G7.
The current reforms at the AU are an affirmation by member states of their commitment to the NEPAD Agency as the Union’s own instrument established to champion catalytic support to countries and regional bodies in advancing the implementation of the continent’s development vision – as articulated in the seven aspirations and 20 goals of Agenda 2063.
Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of the NEPAD Agency, stated that, “A core aspect of the current reforms is to streamline and improve effectiveness and efficiency in delivery in the implementation of AU decisions, policies and programmes across all AU organs and institutions. In this sense, as the NEPAD Agency is the technical implementation agency of the AU, one specific recommendation in the Kagame report is to transform it into the AU Development Agency. We are enthusiastic about this transformation, which will make it possible to deploy our programmes even more effectively in the service of our continent’s development.”
Official launch of NEPAD’s 5% Agenda initiative for infrastructure financing in Africa
September 19, 2017 | 0 Comments
|Bridging Africa’s $68bn infrastructure finance gap|
NEW YORK, United States of America, September 18, 2017/ — The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) (www.NEPAD.org) – African Union’s economic development programme gathered international investors and CEO-level business leaders at the NASDAQ Stock Market today, 18th September, for the launch of its 5% Agenda campaign.
The launch took place five years after a January 2012 African Union Summit adopted the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) which sets out 51 cross-border infrastructure programmes and more than 400 actionable projects in four sectors.
According to the World Bank, the continent needs to spend $93 billion annually (44% for energy; 23% for water and sanitation; 20% for transport; 10% for ICTs; and 3% for irrigation) until 2020 to bridge its infrastructure gap, which is currently removing an estimated 2% of GDP growth every year. On the other hand, Africa only managed to close 158 project finance deals with debt totalling $59 billion over the decade 2004-2013, which represents only 5 percent of infrastructure investment needs and 12 percent of the actual financial flows.
The 5% Agenda campaign highlights that only a collaborative public-private approach can efficiently tackle these issues and calls for allocations of institutional investors to African infrastructure to be increased to the declared 5% mark.
Speaking at the launch event in New York, Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, NEPAD Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Infrastructure plays a leading role in supporting growth on the continent. At the same time, it can represent an innovative and attractive asset class for institutional investors with long-term liabilities. By launching the 5% campaign in New York today, we invite investors to take advantage of the wide-ranging opportunities Africa has to offer and to move forward with what can only be a win-win partnership”.
The launch of the campaign gathered high-level international investors and business leaders, including members of the PIDA Continental Business Network (CBN) which is spearheaded by NEPAD and constitutes a CEO-level private sector infrastructure leaders dialogue platform on PIDA.
Tony O. Elumelu, one of Africa’s most prominent entrepreneurs and active participant in the CBN said: “Africa is getting stronger every day with new business opportunities and innovative ideas but what is still crucially missing is project implementation. A coherent and coordinated approach is needed to mobilize institutional investors while limiting their risk exposure. African governments need to work on creating conducive environments to attract these investments which are so vital for the continent’s growth and development.”
According to a 2016 McKinsey report, institutional investors and banks have $120 trillion in assets that could partially support infrastructure projects.
Now more than ever, Africa needs to tap into this available. As banks face additional regulatory challenges and as governments have limited fiscal space, it is becoming increasingly urgent to unlock additional flows from long-term institutional investors such as insurers, pension funds, and sovereign wealth funds.
For pension and sovereign wealth funds to be able to invest in large-scale infrastructure projects in Africa, a variety of issues need to be addressed to strategically and intentionally facilitate long-term allocations. Chief amongst these matters is the need to reform national and regional regulatory frameworks that guide institutional investment in Africa. Likewise, new capital market products need to be developed that can effectively de-risk credit and hence, allow these African asset owners to allocate finance to African infrastructure as an investable asset class to their portfolio.
All these issues are at the heart of the 5% Agenda roadmap, which is the backbone of NEPAD’s campaign and is foreseen to have the following impact:
NEPAD-IPPF supports African countries to strengthen regional infrastructure: Approves eight projects for US $14.83 million in 2016
February 11, 2017 | 0 Comments
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, February 9, 2017 – The New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) has continued to support African countries to strengthen regional infrastructure connectivity by providing grants for project preparation and development for complex, cross-border regional infrastructure projects in energy, transport, ICT and trans-boundary water. This directly supports Africa’s integration and industrialization efforts as well as trade in goods and services and helps to improve the quality of lives of Africans by improving access to infrastructure services – electricity, transport, communications and water.
NEPAD-IPPF provides grants to African countries through Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and specialized regional infrastructure institutions such as Power Pools to undertake feasibility, technical and engineering designs, environmental and social impact assessment studies, as well as preparation of tender documents and transaction advisory services to make projects bankable for financing and implementation in support of Africa’s socio-economic transformation.
Taking stock of achievements during 2016 at the Business Strategy Workshop for NEPAD-IPPF held at the headquarters of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on Friday, ebruary 3, 2017, Shem Simuyemba, NEPAD-IPPF Fund Manager, informed the gathering that during 2016, NEPAD-IPPF had approved a total of US $14.83 million for the preparation of eight regional projects covering energy, transport and water.
Five energy/power projects were approved, two in West Africa, two in Southern Africa and one in East Africa. In West Africa, these were, the Nigeria-Benin 330 kV Power Interconnector Reinforcement Project executed by the West African Power Pool (WAPP) and the Feasibility Study for Women in a Changing Energy Value Chain in West Africa under the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREE) intended to unlock business opportunities for women entrepreneurs in the energy value chain. In East Africa, NEPAD-IPPF funded the Uganda-Tanzania Refined Oil Products Pipeline Project with oversight from the East African Community Secretariat. In Southern Africa, approved projects were, the Zambia-Mozambique 400 kV Power Interconnector Project and the Kolwezi (DRC)-Solwezi (Zambia) 330 kV Power Interconnector Project linking the two copper-mining belts of Katanga in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Northwestern Zambia. The Executing Agency for the two projects is the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP). The Zambia-Mozambique Power Interconnector Project is co-financed with the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).
Project preparation and development work undertaken by NEPAD-IPPF has had a major impact in generating bankable projects, which have attracted financing for implementation. An example is the Power Interconnector, 330 kV North Core Project involving Nigeria, Niger, Benin and Burkina Faso. NEPAD-IPPF provided US $5.9 million for the preparation of this project (one of the largest grants for a single project). The estimated financing cost of the project was US $681.67 million. However, at the North Core Financing Roundtable held on November 9, 2016, under the auspices of WAPP and the countries concerned, the project attracted US $1.205 billion in financing pledges.
The two transport projects approved were the Route Multinationale, Kribi-Campo-Bata, the road/bridge over the Ntem River linking Cameroon to Equatorial Guinea, for a grant of US $3.04-million under the Economic Community of Central African States, an important transport and trade corridor in Central Africa. The other was in East Africa,the Lamu Port Development: Transaction Advisory Services and Technical Assistance – Phase 1 for a public-private partnership (PPP) to develop the new Port of Lamu in Kenya to serve the countries of Ethiopia, South Sudan and Kenya under the US $20-billion LAPSEET mega infrastructure project.
One trans-boundary water project, the Multinational, Orange-Sengu River Basin Project, was also approved in 2016. The purpose of the grant is to assist in the preparation of a Climate Resilient Water Resources Investment Strategy and Plan and Multipurpose Project for the Orange Senqu River Basin. The project is co-funded by the Africa Water Facility and the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and is managed by the Orange River Basin Commission. It will benefit the four countries of Lesotho, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia as it serves, among others, Africa’s most dense economic space, the Gauteng Province of South Africa with its mining, agricultural and industrial activities.
NEPAD-IPPF is a multi-donor Special Fund hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB), established under the G8 as part of the support to the NEPAD African Action Plan and is managed in close partnerships with the African Union Commission (AUC) and the NEPAD Agency. Donors supporting NEPAD-IPPF include Canada, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Spain and the UK. Since its establishment in 2005, NEPAD-IPPF has approved 72 grants for complex, cross-border regional infrastructure projects resulting in downstream financing of US $7.88 billion, demonstrating the high leverage effect of well-prepared projects.
Under its current Strategic Business Plan (SBP) for the five-year period, 2016-2020, NEPAD-IPPF requires funding of about US $250 million to prepare 80 to 100 regional infrastructure projects expected to generate US $25 billion in infrastructure investments. NEPAD-IPPF is also increasingly linking its project preparation work to financial closure and part of the thrust of its new business orientation is to engage early with project developers, financiers and investment houses to ensure that NEPAD-IPPF prepared projects respond better to investor needs.
“NEPAD-IPPF is a tested brand across Africa in supporting African countries to prepare complex, cross-border regional infrastructure projects and to bring them to bankability and therefore offers a total-project-development-solution,” said Simuyemba. He also observed that NEPAD-IPPF unlocks business opportunities across the “infrastructure value chain”, not just in advisory services, but also financing, construction, equipment supply, technology and skills as well as operations and maintenance.
NEPAD Regional Integration and Trade Department to host key stakeholders’ coordination meeting on Abidjan-Lagos and other West African Corridors
September 23, 2016 | 0 Comments
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, September 21, 2016 – NEPAD Regional Integration and Trade Department has convened a two-day meeting on September 27-28, at the African Development Bank (AfDB) headquarters in Abidjan, with development partners, the NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency (NPCA), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), government officials and representatives of customs and revenue authorities to discuss a more coordinated approach to the management of West African corridors.
The two-day event, jointly organized by the AfDB, ECOWAS, the Accelerating Trade in West Africa (ATWA) project, and the NPCA, seeks to bring together all stakeholders, financiers and technicians to help streamline views, review the latest corridor performance metrics and foster synergies and create a platform for better co-ordination and efficiency in West African Corridor development and management.
“This critical meeting is in line with the Bank’s commitment to promote efficient transport corridors in West Africa and support Africa’s regional integration agenda for inclusive economic growth. At the end of the meeting, we hope to be better equipped to improve the conditions of shippers, transporters and traders in West Africa when they engage in cross-border trade,” said Moono Mupotola, Director of the AfDB’s NEPAD Regional Integration and Trade Department.
The meeting will be structured around two key initiatives that aim at promoting dialogue between different stakeholders involved in the projects. The first day will be dedicated to the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor development led by the AfDB, the ECOWAS Commission and the NPCA, while discussions on the Day 2 will focus on the three corridors covered by the Accelerating Trade in West Africa (ATWA) project, namely Abidjan-Ouagadougou, Tema-Ouagadougou and Lomé-Ouagadougou.
The Abidjan-Lagos Corridor, a flagship project of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), is the busiest corridor in West Africa. The six-lane, 1,028-kilometre highway will connect Abidjan, Accra, Lomé, Cotonou and Lagos, while serving landlocked countries and ports in the region. The corridor is one of the main economic drivers of West Africa with over 75% of economic activities in the ECOWAS region and a total population of 35 million inhabitants.
Experts agree that support to regional trade and integration in West Africa is substantial but fragmented. The meeting is therefore timely to ensure that the approach to the development of corridors is coherent and inclusive of all key players.
Accelerating Trade in West Africa (ATWA) is an initiative funded by the Danish and Dutch Ministries of Foreign Affairs aiming to establish a durable, multi-donor vehicle dedicated to advancing regional integration, expanding trade and lowering costs along key trade routes in West Africa.
ATWA takes inspiration from East Africa, where eight development partners have pooled their support and established a single non-profit organisation working across the East African Community (EAC) to further its integration agenda. The organisation, TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), is a technical partner of the ATWA Project.
The ATWA Project Team will present analysis detailing the performance of selected West African corridors for formal and informal traders, and seek input from participants as to what activities and programmes could be elaborated to improve the situation.
Given the veritable platform that it promises to be, the AfDB intends to take lead and continually play host to this coordination process in order to streamlining efforts and activities among development partners and other stakeholders in the region.
Joint Communique by the AUC, OSAA, ECA, and UNIDO-Africa Must Industrialize
September 29, 2015 | 0 Comments
Africa has seen remarkable economic growth since the turn of the millennium. It has become the second fastest growing region in the world and continues on this path despite the persistent global economic slowdown. There is still need to accelerate annual economic growth to more than 7% to effect real economic transformative growth. To be sustainable and inclusive, this progress must now be accompanied by structural transformation, which remains the only option to lift the people of Africa out of poverty. To fully benefit from its rich natural resources and to reap the benefits of the demographic dividend, Africa must industrialize. Heavily investing in the training and education of women and youth is indispensable. In order to achieve inclusive and sustainable industrialization, we must embark on a skills revolution particularly in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goal 9 recognize the centrality of inclusive and sustainable industrialization for development. African leaders made a bold statement towards inclusive growth and sustainable development in their own Common African Position on the post-2015 development agenda and the African Union’s 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration, culminating in the Africa Agenda 2063, and its First Ten Year Implementation Plan. Many African countries have already proceeded to formulate national strategies to take advantage of the current global momentum for fostering inclusive and sustainable industrial development. In this context, the African leaders attending the High-level event on “Operationalization of the 2030 Agenda for Africa’s Industrialization” called upon the international community to raise its financial support in line with Goal 9 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and to back industrial and infrastructural projects underpinning this development, especially as articulated under Aspiration 1 of the Africa’s Agenda 2063, which calls for a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development. In particular, they called upon the private sector to recognize Africa’s export and domestic market potential, and invited foreign investors to substantively increase their commitments to the continent. They also called upon international organizations to provide industrial policy advice and technical cooperation programmes to enable African countries to implement their strategies and to forge stronger regional and inter-regional cooperation. They emphasized the urgency for all countries to promote structural transformation, technological change and innovation. Regional Economic integration, intra-African trade, increased foreign direct investment and official development assistance, and South-South and triangular cooperation will be fundamental pillars of this process. UNIDO’s new Programmes for Country Partnership, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the African Mining Vision and the Action Plan for the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa (AIDA) are promising mechanisms for mobilizing multi-stakeholder coalitions to promote industrialization. As also witnessed during the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, and the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, emphasis should continue to be placed on inclusive economic growth and sustainable industrial development. Now that the world has adopted the 2030 Agenda, we invoke all stakeholders to join forces and form a new global partnership for its implementation, particularly for the most vulnerable countries in Africa, including for the LDCs, the LLDCs and the SIDs. We need to seize this historical moment and take substantial steps collectively to achieve the transformative agenda of inclusive and sustainable industrial development for the benefit of all countries and their populations on the continent. The AUC, OSAA, UNECA and UNIDO fully commit themselves to support Member States in their calling upon the General Assembly to pass in 2016 a resolution for a Decade of African Industrialization 2016-2025. *AUC]]>
African leaders commend NEPAD’s role in Africa’s transformation and regional integration
June 15, 2015 | 0 Comments
President Zuma underscored that investments in infrastructure programmes, regional integration and intra-African trade is Africa’s solution for sustainable growth and development. African leaders gathered Saturday morning at the Sandton Convention Centre in South Africa for the 33rd NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation meeting. Welcoming the delegation to the Opening Session, South African President Jacob Zuma commended NEPAD for keeping the dreams and potential of the African continent alive. He said, “the continent is now reaping the benefits of responsible macro-economic management and deepening integration into the world economy.” President Zuma underscored that investments in infrastructure programmes, regional integration and intra-African trade is Africa’s solution for sustainable growth and development. African Union Chairperson and President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, applauded NEPAD’s breakthroughs in project conceptualisation and implementation on the continent. He said “NEPAD has provided critical synergies between and among African institution, thereby enhancing a much needed continental integration”. He urged the Agency to play a lead role in capacitating Regional Economic Communities to fast-track Africa’s quest for industrialisation and value addition of its vast mineral resources. “Surely the African people cannot continue to be hewers of wood and drawers of water, while others delight in their resources, in our resources. With unwavering courage and collective determination, Africa can also industrialise in the same manner other regions have achieved industrialisation within the shortest period possible”, President Mugabe said. Newly elected President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, was welcomed to the HSGOC. As a founding member of NEPAD, Nigeria emphasised its continued commitment to championing NEPAD programmes and projects, said Ambassador B.Z. Lolo, Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, reading a speech on behalf President Buhari. Ambassador highlighted commenced work on the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline from Nigeria to Algeria, as well as the Trans-Sahara Highway linking several African countries as key achievements of NEPAD. He referred to the NEPAD Agency as a strategic body for Africa’s structural transformation. The 20- membership NEPAD HSGOC met ahead of the 25th AU Assembly, to provide leadership to the NEPAD process as well as to set policies, priorities and the programmes of action. Chair of the NEPAD HSGOC and President of Senegal, Macky Sall, underscored the achievements made by NEPAD in advancing regional integration through infrastructure and capacity development projects. He noted the need to tackle illicit financial flows from Africa and to enhance the capacities of African member countries to negotiate mining and oil contracts for the social benefit of African people. President Sall also commended the NEPAD Spanish Fund for African Women’s Empowerment, in line with this year’s Summit theme. NEPAD Agency Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, reported back on concrete results made for the period January to June 2015. “We have achieved 313 results that each has had quantifiable impacts: 20 at the continental level, 30 at the regional level and 264 at the national levels. All the impacts demonstrated are geared towards the industrialization of the Continent”, he said. Some of the key achievements Dr Mayaki highlighted included the establishment of an Africa Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance aimed at reaching out to 25 million farmers by 2025, the launch of a Continental Business Network for Infrastructure financing in Africa, and providing access to clean water and sanitation to 9 656 women in Benin and Togo. African Heads of State and Government will continue tomorrow at the two-day 25th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly scheduled for Sunday and Monday. *APO]]>