African ministers to discuss infrastructure financing at maiden meeting

By Omer Redi

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - February 14, 2017 (IMC):- African ministers and experts in infrastructure, energy and tourism of are set to hold their first specialised meeting in the Togolese capital in mid March to discuss financing the sector.

The first meeting of the Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Transport, Transcontinental and Interregional Infrastructures, Energy and Tourism will be held from 13-17 March 2017 in Lomé, under the theme “Financing Infrastructure in Africa”, according to a press release issued by the African Union Commission (AUC).


Organized by the AUC, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in collaboration with the Togolese government, the first edition of the STC expects to attract more than 300 participants. Ministers responsible for transport, energy and tourism sectors, and groups of experts from Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Regional Development Banks, financial institutions and the continental specialized organizations, international organizations, among others who will gather from across the continent, will discuss financing infrastructure during the almost week-long meeting.

The theme of the meeting calls on African governments and the private Sector to achieve concrete advances in the financing of major infrastructures, notably those in the Priority Action Plan of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA/PAP) in ways that foster inclusive growth and promote employment in the continent, according to the AUC.

"Preparing for the First Specialized Technical Committee on Transport, Transcontinental and Interregional Infrastructures, Energy and Tourism comes at a time in which African governments look to push road, airport, railway and energy projects to the finish line,” said Elham Mahmoud Ibrahim (PhD), Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission.

The meeting provides the opportunity for African governments to discuss how to ensure better regulation and clearer policy certainty to ultimately attract infrastructure spending, the Commissioner added.

A special event of the meeting will be the High Level Panel Discussion on “Enhancing Private Sector Participation in Infrastructure Financing”, which will be held on March 16, 2017.

Preceded by the Experts’ meeting, which will hold from March 13 to 16, 2017, the Ministers’ meeting will take place on the 17th.

The Specialized Technical Committees (STCs), which constitute an important technical organ of the AU, were established under Article 25 of the African Economic Community Treaty (the Abuja Treaty). With the transformation of the OAU into the AU, the STCs were carried over by the Constitutive Act of the African Union under Articles 14 to 16.

The STCs are expected to work in close collaboration with the various departments of the AUC so as to provide well-informed inputs in their areas of specialization to the work of the AU Executive Council. They should also, be involved in monitoring development programmes implementation by the AUC and Regional Economic Communities (RECs).

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