ECOWAS sensitizes Member States on the new regional infrastructure master plan

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Concerned about the growing infrastructure deficit and the need to meet the challenge of financing regional infrastructure projects, the ECOWAS Commission, through the ECOWAS Project Preparation and Development Unit (PPDU), and the transport, telecommunications, energy and water resources sector departments, held a sensitization meeting on the recently developed ECOWAS regional infrastructure master plan. The event which was held from 23-24 June 2022 at the Alisa Hotel, Accra, Ghana, brought together officials from Ministries of National Planning, Economic Development and Finance of Member States, representatives of infrastructure committee of the ECOWAS Parliament, the Community Court of Justice and Development Partners. The objective of the meeting was on the one hand to present the newly approved master plan to the ministries in charge of national planning of the Member States, and on the other hand to the ECOWAS institutions (Parliament, Court of Justice and EBID) and to development partners,

The ECOWAS Regional Infrastructure Master Plan was approved by the Authority of Heads of State and Government during the 60e Summit held in December 2021. The 25-year master plan covering the period 2020-2045 includes 201 regional projects with an estimated cost of USD 131 billion covering all member states that form the regional bloc. The ECOWAS infrastructure master plan covers four key sectors (transport, energy, telecommunications and water resources) and contains both intangible projects (facilitation, service improvement, efficiency measures, studies, project preparation, institutions and capacities) and concrete projects involving physical investment projects. . It also details the roles of the main actors and stakeholders in its development and implementation.

The President of the ECOWAS Commission, H. E Jean Claude Kassi-Brou whose speech was read by the Commissioner for Infrastructure of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Pathé GUEYE reaffirmed the political commitment of the Conference of Chiefs of State and Government to put in place an appropriate regional framework to ensure effective infrastructure service delivery in ECOWAS countries. He cited the potential challenge associated with the implementation of the master plan, particularly in terms of mobilizing adequate resources to cover the entire estimated budget. He therefore reiterated the need to mobilize private finance by leveraging the recently adopted regional PPP policy and guidelines. The Honorable Commissioner also highlighted the FODETE initiative “Fund for the development of regional energy and transport projects in ECOWAS” undertaken by ECOWAS, as a key to facilitate the mobilization of local resources in recognition of the huge investments required. to implement the master plan.

Speaking on behalf of the Spanish Cooperation for International Development, financial partner of the ECOWAS PPDU, the Ambassador of Spain to Ghana His Excellency Javier Nanette, on behalf of the Spanish Cooperation for International Development, thanked the Commission of ECOWAS for initiating the meeting to promote the master plan. He reiterated the support of the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID) to the PPDU, including support for the technical studies of the Dakar – Bamako railway project which is one of the flagship projects of the Master Plan. He wished the participants fruitful deliberations.

The keynote address was delivered by the Director of Public Investment – ​​Mr. David Klotey Collison – on behalf of the Honorable Minister of Finance of Ghana. He welcomed all participants to Ghana and reaffirmed the continued support of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, President of Ghana towards better regional integration through the provision of high level infrastructure. He mentioned the deliberate effort to ensure an adequate geographical distribution of the projects retained in the master plan, in particular the landlocked and island Member States. Mr. Collison highlighted the Government of Ghana’s efforts in regional infrastructure development, citing in particular the country’s active participation in the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development Project and the establishment of a National Investment Fund. Infrastructure Investment, an independent fund established by the Government of Ghana. Ghana to mobilize, manage, coordinate and provide financial resources for investment in a diverse portfolio of infrastructure projects in Ghana. Mr. Collison urged all participants to consider the issues presented and make salient recommendations to facilitate the implementation of the regional infrastructure master plan.

After in-depth deliberations on the presentation of the master plan by ECOWAS, the participants agreed to create an ad hoc monitoring and evaluation committee and to intensify sensitization campaigns targeting Member States sector ministries and development partners. . The meeting also recognized the need to undertake the necessary project preparatory activities for individual projects to better engage financiers during the investment forums planned for 2023 and beyond, in order to have enough evidence to present the selected projects.

The closing address was delivered by the Chairman, Mr. David Collison, who thanked all participants and congratulated them for their contributions and active participation. He urged participants to adequately brief their respective ministers and incorporate the elements of the master plan into their respective national development plans.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

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