CANADA – Canadian businesses attending a Business Opportunities Seminar with International Finance Institutions (IFI) held in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver from October 18 to 21 have been urged to compete for AfDB-funded projects and tap into the immense business opportunities available in Africa.
The Business Opportunities Seminar is an event aimed at companies, institutions and individual consultants interested in working on projects with the African Development Bank (AfDB); the Asian Development Bank (ADB); the World Bank (WB); the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB); and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The seminars are organized by the Canadian Government through the Department of Global Affairs.
In his address, Shem Simuyemba, Fund Manager for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF), shared opportunities, especially in the infrastructure sectors of energy, transport, trans-boundary water and ICT, and in equipment/component manufacturing and services.
“There are opportunities in oil and gas; electricity generation, transmission and distribution; renewable and green energy; expansion of transport capacities in ports, roads, railways and airports and logistics; as well as fixed and mobile telephony including value added services,” Simuyemba told participants. These opportunities are across the entire “Infrastructure Value Chain” ranging from consulting and advisory services, financing, construction, equipment supply, to technology and skills transfer.
In the discussions, Canadian businesses showed interest in energy, renewable energy, manufacturing, logistics and financial services. Simuyemba informed representatives in Toronto and Calgary that Africa was increasingly functioning as an integrated market of one billion people as regional integration arrangements are being creating to facilitate the movement of goods and services through the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).
Answering questions on how Canadian companies could support the Bank’s efforts, Simuyemba reminded participants that AfDB was a partner of choice for both African Government and the African private sector because of its solid Triple-A rating. The Bank has been operating for 50 years and, in 2015 alone, the AfDB invested US $8.7 billion, with almost half of those investments – US $4.2 billion – going into infrastructure. The Bank also has products and services to suit the public sector, private sector and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements, he said.
Simuyemba concluded by thanking the Canadian Government, one of the key contributors to the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF)
NEPAD-IPPF is a multi-donor Special Fund hosted by the AfDB, which supports African countries to prepare regional infrastructure projects in energy, transport, ICT and transboundary water. It is currently supported by several donors, including Canada, Germany, UK, Spain, Norway and Denmark. Over its 10-year existence since 2005, NEPAD-IPPF has prepared over 60 regional infrastructure projects, half of which have reached financial closure resulting in investment financing of over US $6 billion, responding directly to Africa’s integration and development efforts