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Meeting to discuss crisis impact in Africa's infrastructure development

afrol News, 2 March - Multi-stakeholders including financial insitutions are meeting next week in Rome to discuss accelerating Africa's infrastructure development amidst the impact of the international financial crisis.

Held under the auspices of the African Development Bank, the 5th annual meeting of the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA), which helps improve the lives and economic well-being of Africa’s people through encouraging, supporting and promoting increased investment in infrastructure in Africa, will take place in Rome on 10 and 11 March 2009.

Hosted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the meeting will be attended by senior representatives of G8 governments, multilateral agencies such as the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the European Commission, European Investment Bank, and by African institutions such as the African Union Commission, and Regional Economic Communities. Senior representatives of funding institutions from China, the Islamic Development Bank, the Arab Fund Coordination Group and India are also expected to attend.

Amongst top on the agenda for this year's meeting will be the review the past performance of the ICA based on the findings of an independent evaluation and a discussion of strategic options for the ICA’s future activity covering the period 2009 to 2011.

A major discussion of Africa’s infrastructure priorities and the outcome of the recent African Union Summit, which was dedicated to infrastructure, will also be under the spotlight, while the meeting will also have a presentation and discussion about the results of the Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (AICD) study.

According to the organisers, there will also be discussions on key financial issues such as risk mitigation and project brokering, while a special workshop, co-hosted by the ICA and the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF), will be held, which will consider the global economic crisis and its impact on infrastructure in Africa.

Speaking in advance of the meeting, the ICA’s Coordinator, Alex Rugamba, said: “This will be a landmark meeting for the ICA. The consortium plays an important catalysing role, bringing people together to increase investment in Africa’s infrastructure, to help Africa’s people. The members of the consortium will be looking at how the ICA can strengthen and enhance its activity for the next three years.”

Consortium members will also concentrate their minds on the challenges facing infrastructure development in Africa due to the international financial crisis and how these might be overcome, he also added.

The meeting will be co-chaired by Dr Elham Mahmood Ahmed Ibrahim, African Union Commissioner, and Dr Mandla Gantsho, Vice-President of the African Development Bank.

The ICA’s annual meeting is hosted by the country holding the Presidency of the G8. The 2008 meeting was held in Tokyo in March 2008.

The Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) was launched at the G8 Gleneagles Summit in 2005. The consortium is supported by a small secretariat hosted by the African Development Bank. Members include the G8 countries, World Bank Group, African Development Bank Group, European Commission, European Investment Bank and Development Bank of Southern Africa.

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