ICA Members' Meeting, November 2011 - Outcome Statement
19 December 2011
Members of the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) met in Tunis, Tunisia, from 22-23 November 2011. The meeting was co-chaired by Alex Rugamba, Director NEPAD, Regional Integration and Trade (ONRI) at the African Development Bank (AfDB), and Max-Oliver Gonnet, assistant director for food security and economic development at the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
In addition to G8 countries, the ICA extended invitations to the G20 as a result of the G20 Development Working Group’s recommendation for ICA expansion. Representatives from India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Turkey attended as observers.
The meeting’s primary purpose was to provide ICA Members and observers with the opportunity to review ICA’s progress since its last meeting in May 2011. ICA activities were presented in line with the objectives of the ICA Strategic Business Plan (2010-2012), and consideration was given to the organization’s future activity and strategic direction.
The agenda focused on ICA’s potential direction emerging from the final report of Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) that will be considered by the African Union Summit in January 2012 and the outcomes of the infrastructure pillar of G20 Development Working Group. Presentations were organized around the three key pillars of ICA activities – Coordination, Regional Infrastructure Programme Brokering and Knowledge & Information – and considered ICA planning, management and staffing issues. A workshop on Project Preparation and the Project Marketplace ("Facilitating Engagement and Project Coordination") was held on the second day of the meeting.
An overview of the presentations (sessions 3-6) and the workshops are given in Annex 1. The list of participants is presented in Annex 2.
KEY ISSUES AND OUTCOMES
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Mr. Bobby Pittman, Vice-President for Infrastructure, Regional Integration and Private Sector at the AfDB, welcomed ICA Members and G20 observers, and set the scene by providing a brief summary of the previous Members’ Meeting hosted by France in May 2011. Mr. Pittman also presented a brief outline of the important outcomes of the G20 Development Working Group and the G20 summit of November 2011, which are all part of the G20 Report and Action Plan of the Multilateral Development Banks and the Report of the G20 High Level Panel. 2
Mr. Rémy Rioux, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the French Ministry of Finance, presented detailed outcomes of the infrastructure pillar under the G20 Development Working Group. Mr. Rioux underlined the importance of infrastructure development for the G20 and of the ICA’s role in this process, especially regarding the quality of information (Sokoni, AIKP, assessment of existing project preparation facilities) and follow-up and support to regional infrastructure projects highlighted by the G20 for Africa. This led to discussion of the enhanced ICA role to be adopted for 2012 and beyond. ICA Members recognize that this enlarged G20 mandate requires investment of additional resources for the ICA Secretariat. These additional ICA activities and programs will have a strong impact on the planning and implementation presented in the next ICA Strategic Business Plan (SBP).
Strategic outcomes of the meeting
- Members agreed that ICA should continue its work on membership expansion, reaching out to new members by informing them of ICA activities and directions, and inviting them to strategic ICA meetings. The ICA was requested to invite incoming G20 chair, Mexico, as a potential new ICA Member, while France will ensure the reporting of 2011 G20 outcomes and progress during the new presidency in 2012. The ICA Secretariat will report on the status of its expansion at the next ICA Annual Meeting in 2012.
- ICA will also undertake a G20-endorsed performance assessment of existing project preparation facilities for Africa. The review will include the volume of funds available, the accessibility of the facilities and their efficiency, building on on-going work in the mapping of project preparation facilities and the online update of the ICA Project Preparation User Guide.
- It is recommended that ICA leverage its convening power to exploit strategic synergies, such as the G20 outcomes based on the HLP report, MDB Action Plan and PIDA. Particular attention shall be paid to exemplary regional projects.
- ICA will undertake a mid-term review of the SBP. Results of this review, combined with considerations of recommendations from the new initiatives under the G20, will be reflected in the drafting of a new SBP Plan towards the end of 2012.
- ICA will undertake a resource assessment study to evaluate implications of ICA role under PIDA and the G20 Action Plan, and present the report at the next ICA meeting. This study will facilitate the search for additional resources to implement the new programs. DFID announced the possibility of UK facilitating the study.
- ICA members were briefed about the transition of AICD to AKIP which will serve as a knowledge platform for ICA. In this regard, the AfDB team presented a progress report on AIKP and highlighted the estimated funding gap of about USD $6.6 million required to implement the second phase. ICA Members were encouraged to offer their support to AKIP. ICA was encouraged to track the change landscape of financing infrastructure and track none traditional sources of financing such as foundations and climate investment funds which will become increasingly significant in Africa. The use of new instruments such as guarantees and bonds were also recommended in order to scale up investments in infrastructure.
- ICA members broadly endorsed ICA’s orientation and achievements in 2011, with appreciation for the quality of ICA’s new knowledge-sharing products and its effective sector platform coordination, despite limited staff.
In conclusion, the chair thanked the participants for their rich contributions to the discussions and noted that the consortium has clearly been able to keep the infrastructure high on the agenda of key stakeholders. PIDA and in particular its Priority Action Plan (PAP) and the G20m Agenda offer a window to move ICA to the next level with the possibility of widening membership while retaining the light touch that has characterised the group since its inception.
The Chair took opportunity to announce two departures: Bobby Pittman, Vice-President for Infrastructure, Regional Integration and Private Sector at the AfDB, and Bernhard Tilemann, Advisor to the ICA Coordinator, and expressed thanks and gratitude for their support over the past 2 years.
Date and Venue of Next Meeting
The date and venue of the next ICA Members’ Meeting, scheduled for spring 2012, shall be communicated at a later date.
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