, BRUSSELS, Belgium, Apr 2 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has challenged African governments to accelerate reforms that will encourage more private sector investment in infrastructure projects.
Citing Kenya as an example, the President said the country has taken steps through enactment of Public Private Partnership (PPP) legislation, to facilitate the private sector in the development of projects in transport, energy, water and ICT.
He said the establishment of the Africa 50 Fund – an initiative of the African Development Bank that was endorsed by African leaders – to address the inadequacy of resources for infrastructure development in the continent required African countries to undertake requisite reforms geared towards facilitating private sector to invest in infrastructure development and maintenance.
“The private sector should be encouraged to take advantage of the new funding initiative by investing and partnering with African Governments in infrastructure development,” the President said.
President Kenyatta made the remarks in his statement to the 4th European Union-Africa Summit in Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday.
He said the Kenya Government is committed to ensuring that all parts of the country have developed adequate roads, affordable electricity supply and clean drinking water to satisfy all basic infrastructural needs.
At regional level, the President said the East African Community has prioritised the development of key regional transport corridors to support trade and investments.
The East African infrastructure projects include the rehabilitation and expansion of the Northern Corridor connecting the port of Mombasa with Kampala, Kigali, Bujumbura and the Eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the improvement of the Central Corridor connecting the port of Dar-es-Salaam with Bujumbura, Kigali and the DRC.
Other infrastructure projects are the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) project – a transport corridor that will form important transport connectivity between Eastern Africa and Western Africa countries further promoting intra-Africa trade and investment.
“Further, we believe that the entry point into developing a comprehensive continental infrastructure hinges on regional integration and cooperation, which is high on the political agenda of Africa,” the President said.
President Kenyatta, who is the chairman of EAC, told the summit that development of key transport corridors will further contribute to the realisation of Africa Union’s vision of an inclusive growth agenda, for an integrated prosperous and peaceful continent.
He welcomed continued collaboration between Africa and the European Union in achieving the continent’s development goals.
“Together we can realize the vision of developing Africa’s regional and continental infrastructure and promote socio- economic development and poverty reduction across the continent,” President Kenyatta said.
Speaking at the opening of the summit, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commended both Africa and Europe for showing leadership in crafting a new sustainable and inclusive development agenda.
The UN Secretary-General, however, said more focus must be directed to empowering women and ensuring that the voices of young people are heard.
“I know these are key elements in your post -2015 work as well as the African Union Agenda 2063,” the UN Secretary-General said.
Other speakers included European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, African Union Council Chairperson, Dlamini Nkosazana-Zuma and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso among others.