Investment plan

East African countries in $8 billion investment plan

By VINCENT OWINO

East African states will jointly benefit from at least $8.77 billion in investments in transport, health, energy and agriculture, among other sectors, as a result of agreements reached at the Forum Africa on Investment 2021 concluded on Thursday.

The three-day event was organized by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in partnership with other financial organizations, including the African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) and the African Finance Corporation, and reported to the minus $36.2 billion from 43 investment agreements across the country. continent.

For East Africa, one of the biggest deals signed at the forum is the $3.3 billion rail corridor that will connect the rail network in Tanzania from Isaka to Dar es Salaam via Dodoma and then to Tanzania to Kigali in Rwanda, which will be done as a public-private partnership project.

“There is a lot of political support and goodwill for this, I can’t wait to see this railway,” said Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB President and Forum Chair.

“This is all part of improving regional integration and accelerating the African Free Trade Area. This will lower the cost of moving. »

Other deals struck during the forum are a $103 million wire rod manufacturing plant in Kenya, a $237 million innovation hub in Rwanda, a $413 million gas-fired combined cycle power plant in Tanzania, $220 million for a geothermal power plant in Ethiopia and $4.5 billion for an oil refinery project in East Africa.

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In West Africa, a four- to six-lane road corridor linking four countries, estimated to cost $15.6 billion, has won the largest share of all investment deals.

The highway will run from Lagos in Nigeria, through Lorne in Togo and Accra in Ghana, to Abidjan in Ivory Coast.

It is expected to “support 75% of trade in the West African region, reduce transport costs by 48%, increase the volume of inter and intra-regional trade by 15-25% and impact the lives of over 500 millions of people”. said Dr. Adesina.

In total, West Africa will receive $16.59 billion in capital spending, or 47% of the total amount of agreements signed at the forum.

Central African countries will receive $773 million, Southern Africa ($5.44 billion) and North Africa ($804 million).

Across the continent, the energy sector will get the largest share of investment, worth $9.81 billion. This includes expanding renewable energy sources, developing liquefied natural gas infrastructure, and developing electric vehicle manufacturing infrastructure.

The agricultural sector benefited from investments of $5.77 billion, health $452 million and creative industries $1.5 billion, including a $5 million film academy to be established in Nigeria .

Women-led businesses will get a boost of $4.94 billion in investments from the forum, and the AfDB will invest an additional $1 billion in setting up a women’s advice center.

“We will remove barriers in women’s businesses because women’s businesses should never stay small,” Dr Adesina said.