Africa: Investment

House of Lords written question – answered on 30th March 2006.

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Photo of Lord Wade of Chorlton Lord Wade of Chorlton Conservative

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps they are taking to promote investment in infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa.

Photo of Baroness Amos Baroness Amos President of the Council, Privy Council Office, Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Lords (Privy Council Office)

In response to the Commission for Africa report, the UK played a key role in establishing the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA). This major new effort to accelerate progress towards meeting the infrastructure needs of Africa was inaugurated in London on 6 October 2005. The ICA brings together all the main donors financing infrastructure in Africa. It will be results-orientated: prioritising the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) regional infrastructure projects identified in its short term action plan; acting as a broker for the funding of projects; and identifying and taking action to remove bottlenecks to progress.

The UK has committed $20 million over three years to help with the initial work of the ICA. We have also seconded an individual to the secretariat which has been set up in the African Development Bank.

Many commentators suggest that the problem is not just a shortage of funds but a lack of good projects to fund. The ICA has an important role in helping prepare good projects and demonstrating that sound, sustainable infrastructure projects will secure funding. Improving donor and private sector confidence in the sector to deliver good infrastructure is likely to have a significant positive impact on future funding. Progress on financing has already been made. Key donors have announced new resources or signalled their intention to increase resources, amounting to around an additional $2 billion annually.

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