There are ample studies that quantify Africa’s infrastructure deficit in terms of projects and funding. The World Bank estimates $93 billion of annual upkeep investment is needed for projects and Ernst and Young estimates that there are some 800 projects, largely in the power and transportation sectors, that require approximately $700 billion in new investments.
Less well understood is the skills deficit on the continent that is an impediment to these projects being developed. In particular, African governments and state-owned entities have a critical role to play with project developers to ensure that contracts, studies and documents related to these projects are executed effectively and efficiently. On the other hand, outside developers, financial institutions, and other professional service firms need to better understand local regulations and challenges faced by governments across the continent.
Given this situation, a group of stakeholders have come together to develop strategies to address these gaps. This effort is predicated on the notion that skills development and local knowledge are critical aspects of addressing Africa’s infrastructure deficit.
Covington & Burling LLP, Kaplan & Stratton, Fieldstone Africa, and USAID’s Power Africa Initiative are organizing a Project Finance Master Class in Nairobi, Kenya on June 4-6, 2018. The African Legal Support Facility of the African Development Bank is also supporting this initiative. Intended for African government ministries, regulators, and state-owned off-takers, project developers, and infrastructure companies, the master class seeks to strengthen the enabling environment for project finance transactions by providing important technical skills training and creating a platform for the exchange of best practices.
If you would like more information or would like to participate, please contact Kamala Murugesu of Covington at email@example.com.
This post can also be found on CovAfrica, the firm’s blog on legal, regulatory, political and economic developments in Africa.