The call came during Continental Business Network (CBN) meeting, which was organized on the margins of the ongoing Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA-2019) week, which is being commemorated across the continent from November 25 to 29.
Chief Executive Officer of the AU Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, during the meeting emphasized that financing of cross-border infrastructure projects "is a key driver for progress and acceleration of Africa's regional integration."
AUDA-NEPAD chief also emphasized that "a stronger public-private partnership could hasten the investment in these regional projects."
Noting the vital significance of cross-border infrastructure projects to spur regional integration in Africa, Mayaki also highlighted some of the achievements of some African countries in terms of undertaking such projects.
According to Mayaki, among the promising cross-border infrastructure projects include the Ruzizi III Hydropower Dam on the Ruzizi River along the borders of Democratic Republic of Congo (the DRC), Burundi and Rwanda, and the Nigeria-Algeria Gas Pipeline Project (Trans-Sahara Gas Pipeline).
Figures from AUDA-NEPAD show that more than 60 percent of infrastructure projects in Africa are funded publicly, in which Mayaki stressed that the know-how that was built-in financing national projects can be leveraged to finance regional projects.
Data from the UN-ECA also show that "infrastructure development in Africa can potentially raise GDP by 2 percent and develop the backbone for rapid industrialization, boosting the capacity to generate more domestic resources."
As the African continent kicked off the PIDA-2019 week, the continent has been also urged to augment the investments in infrastructure development in Africa to achieve major continental development aspirations.
Robert Lisinge, Chief of Energy, Infrastructure and Services Section at the ECA, emphasized during the continental business network the importance to harmonize policies, laws and regulations which pertain to infrastructure investment.