Philanthropy and private sector

OECD EMnet business meeting on Africa “Infrastructure and Regional Connectivity”

 

OECD EMnet Meeting on Africa

“Infrastructure and Regional Connectivity” 

 

30 October 2018 - OECD Headquarters, Paris, France

 

Session 1: Better infrastructure to boost regional integration and generate opportunities?

African countries are increasing efforts to create a single continental market for goods and services. The year 2018 marked an important step towards deepening African regional integration, with 49 countries to date signing up to the African Continental Free Trade Area. Governments have committed to remove 90% of tariffs on goods, potentially boosting intra-African trade by 52% in 2022. Furthermore, several African countries address the free movement of people by liberalising their visa regimes. However, persisting infrastructure bottlenecks risk undermining recent efforts to promote regional integration. 

  • Which sectors benefit the most from new infrastructure investments given increasing regional integration?
  • What can governments do to remove infrastructure bottlenecks and unlock trade and investment opportunities?

 

Session 2: Can digital infrastructure can unlock Africa’s economic potential

Digital technologies can bring about a production revolution by generating new market opportunities, improving firms’ productivity and enhancing Africa’s comparative advantage in global production networks. At the same time, digitalisation could hinder job creation in manufacturing. In Ethiopia, for example, 85% of jobs are in sectors susceptible to automation.

  • How does digitalisation unlock productivity gains for companies in Africa?
  • Which new technologies offer the greatest business potential to spur social and economic development?
  • What skills are required in the workforce to realise the full economic benefits of digitalisation?

  

Afternoon Parallel Sessions

Session 3
Green energy infrastructure to build Africa’s sustainable future
Session 4
Better regulations and greater transparency towards infrastructure projects

In Sub-Saharan Africa, only 43% of the population has access to electricity. Strategies towards building green energy infrastructure are necessary but require significant investments.

  • Which policies can encourage private investment in green energy infrastructure?
  • What are the most promising opportunities for investment in renewable energy?

Sound regulatory frameworks, which include transparency, are essential for the design and implementation of infrastructure projects. Thus far, evidence shows that corruption is concentrated in sectors with large spending on infrastructure.

  • How can regulatory frameworks and transparency for infrastructure projects be improved?
  • Can public-private partnerships be good instruments to lower project risk?

Session 5
Strengthening African value chains through better regional transportation links

Session 6
Capturing business expertise towards quality infrastructure

Regional transportation links can provide opportunities to diversify exports and develop businesses. Strengthening value chains by deepening connectivity is particularly important in a context of rising domestic demand. Africa’s population is growing fast, while demand for food is projected to triple by 2030.

  • How can regional transport connectivity support trade and investment in Africa?
  • What prevents companies from engaging further in African value chains?

Quality infrastructure promotes strong, sustainable and balanced growth, while addressing social and environmental concerns. Governments can leverage private sector expertise to design and develop plans for quality infrastructure in Africa.

  • How can companies contribute towards quality infrastructure in Africa?
  • Which new technologies and innovations can support the development of quality infrastructure?

 

Better regulations and greatertransparency towards infrastructure projects

 

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