In Casa África, IP3 is training 15 West African countries on how to finance their Regional Infrastructure Plans

The programme aims to strengthen the ECOWAS infrastructure plan

The programme aims to strengthen the ECOWAS infrastructure plan

From Monday to Friday this week, Casa África is hosting a training course in Public-Private Partnerships provided by the US-based company IP 3 (Institute for Public-Private Partnerships). The training is being given to senior government officials from 14 countries in the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS), as well as a representative from Mauritania, officials from ECOWAS itself and representatives from three Canary Islands infrastructure companies.

More than 25 people will participate in this week of training, the first taught here by the US company. The training is sponsored by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the Government of the Canary Islands and Casa África. The activity is part of the projects CONFIAFRICA and INGENIA2, assigned to the INTERREG MAC 2014-2020 Programme and co-financed by the FEDER Regional Development Fund.

This is the first course to come out of the agreement signed in November 2015 by Casa África and IP3 with the aim of organizing this kind of specialized training in public-private projects in the Canary Islands, courses which IP3 usually teaches in Washington, USA. The main objective of this agreement was to open a path towards making the Archipelago - in addition to being a hub for business and services, logistics and humanitarian aid for the African continent - also a hub in the field of training.

IP3, which is part of the multinational corporation Tetra Tech, has its corporate headquarters in Pasadena (California), an annual turnover of $ 2.7 billion, 400 offices worldwide and employs 16,000 people. The company provides strategic support to major US Government projects in Africa, such as NASA’s West African Studies Center and the Power Africa Plan which aims to double power generation on the continent.

Today, the secretary general of Casa África, Arianne Hernández, and the director general of Economic Promotion of the Government of the Canary Islands, Cristina Hernández, welcomed the participants, in an opening ceremony that was attended by the director of IP3, Tomás Kiguel, the head of training, José Luis Guasch, and Kebba Sulayman Faye, head of the infrastructure Projects Preparation and Development Unit of ECOWAS (PPDU).

During the week, the senior African officials will be trained in the theoretical and practical development of PPP projects, a key priority for attracting private funding to public infrastructure projects in Africa, which it is estimated will reach a volume of 90 billion dollars a year. This programme, for example, will strengthen planned ECOWAS projects in the field of infrastructure, ranging from transport (roads, airports, ports) to energy and telecommunications. The forecast cost for these plans is, for the time being, 300 million dollars annually.

The profile of the participants in this course is very specific and includes cabinet leaders from infrastructure ministries as well as directors general of roads and transport, and engineers attached to ministries of development and public works.

One member is participating from each of the ECOWAS countries (with the exception of Sierra Leone which was unable to attend): Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo. Being trained alongside them will be a representative from Mauritania, several ECOWAS officials (from the departments of Energy, Infrastructure, Development and Telecommunications) and several members of the PPDU team of this African regional organization, specialized in the promotion and development of this type of project. The course will also include directors of three Canary Islands companies from the infrastructure sector, invited by the Government of the Canary Islands, to learn about the procedures for this type of collaboration with the African continent.

On Friday, the closing of the course will be attended by the director of the infrastructure Projects Preparation and Development Unit of ECOWAS (PPDU), Sediko Douka, a representative of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), and the director general of Casa África, Luis Padrón.

The AECID has been supporting ECOWAS in the creation of the infrastructure Projects Preparation and Development Unit (PPDU) of ECOWAS and contributing to the implementation of the Regional Infrastructure Development Plan of this organization which is formed by fifteen West African countries. In December 2010, a € 5m contribution was approved, currently under implementation. The Memorandum of Understanding, dated February 2014, outlined the agreement to direct Spanish support to the financing of the PPDU. In line with this memorandum, in June 2015 the first annual operational plan was approved with a budget of € 1.5 million and five feasibility studies are currently being carried out for key infrastructure for regional development. 

For Casa África, this activity is part of the CONFIAFRICA project which is part of the INTERREG MAC 2014-2020 programme and is co-funded by the ERDF Regional Development Fund. For the General Directorate for Economic Promotion, the inclusion of companies from the Canary Islands in this activity is part of the INGENIA 2 project, of the same INTERREG MAC 2014-2020 Programme.



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