Top 3 Pan African Institutions Steering Africa’s Engagement with the World

Over the recent years, emerging economies have become attractive investment options for organizations seeking to expand their business horizons onto a global platform. China and India have already captured the world’s attention.

However, Africa has made huge strides in improving their economic status despite the sharp decline in over two decades in 2016. According to Africa’s Pulse a bi-annual analysis of the state of African economies conducted by the World Bank, the continent’s aggregate growth is expected to rise to 3.2% in 2018 and 3.5% in 2019, reflecting a recovery in the largest economies. 

In line with helping steer Africa’s engagement with the world, three major Pan-African institutions have been at the forefront of this project. The African Union (AU), The African Development Bank (AfDB) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) have been involved in several programmes within various sectors.

The main emphasis on improving Africa’s economy is on infrastructure investments in key sectors- transport, water and sanitation, energy and communications.

In The Africa Development  Bank's  case, of total Bank Group loan and grant approvals (US$ 7.35 billion), more than half (54.2 percent) or US$ 4billion was allocated to infrastructure projects, with transport (30.3 percent) and energy (16.1 percent) accounting for the largest share. This was followed by water and sanitation (6.2 percent), with the smallest share going to communications (1.6 percent).

The bulk of the bank’s resources were directed at infrastructure operations mainly in the transport and energy sectors in line with their Ten-Year Strategy (TYS) approved by the Boards in 2013. In Kenya for instance, the Kenya Commercial Bank received an approval of US$100 million from the AfDB for Line of Credit (LOC). These resources are aimed at providing much-needed liquidity support for the development of infrastructure and energy projects as well as support value-addition in manufacturing and providing the youth. Additionally, it will contribute towards creating employment and improving various businesses within the country via financial facilitation.

The African (AU), in supporting the development of Africa as it relates to the world, is involved in projects on social- economic development with a focus on skills and human resources, youth development and entrepreneurship, women empowerment and gender equality, promoting integration and the management of diversity and advocacy and support for the African Union.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) through their Programme for Infrastructure Development (PIDA) provides the strategic framework for priority projects to transform Africa through the construction of modern infrastructure into an interconnected and integrated continent that is competitive domestically and in the global economy.

PIDA, a Multi sector programme covering four sectors- Transport, Energy, Transboundary water and Telecommunication is dedicated to facilitating continental integration in Africa through improved regional infrastructure and is designed to support implementation of the African Union Abuja Treaty and the creation of the African economic Community.

The programme currently is comprised of 16 infrastructure projects involving various stakeholders who provide infrastructure financing to help propel Africa’s integration in line with the growing investor appetite for infrastructure assets in Africa as well as help improve Africa’s deficient infrastructure in which has been found to sap growth by as much as 2% a year according to PIDA.

These projects are regionally balanced to allow for fairness, working with National Governments, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and financing partners to ensure that the projects are fully implemented.

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