Questions and Answers

What is the ICA's mission and vision?

ICA's primary role is to help reduce poverty and increase economic growth throughout Africa by supporting and promoting increased investment in African infrastructure, from both public and private sources. ICA's vision is that all Africans have access to sustainable and reliable infrastructure services, including energy, transport, water, and information and communications technology (ICT).

How did the ICA come into existence?

From the 1990’s through 2004 many of the major donor agencies and G8 countries were focused on non-infrastructure issues in Africa.  For example, fighting the HIV pandemic across the continent of Africa had directed many investments away from transport, energy, water and ICT programmes. The 2005 G8 Summit at Gleneagles offered the Commission for Africa an opportunity to present compelling information on the critical need to re-direct attention to building and managing a sustainable infrastructure system in Africa.

The Commission for Africa's aim was to take a fresh look at Africa’s past and present, and at the international community’s role in its future development. The Commission made a number of clear recommendations for the G8, the European Union, and other wealthy nations and African countries.  A key recommendation was to address the critical need to strengthen Africa infrastructure (transport, water, energy and ICT).  With that in mind, the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) was established in July 2005 as a recommendation to the G8 Summit in Gleneagles (UK) by the Commission for Africa.

Who are ICA members?

ICA members include the governments and development agencies of all G8 countries, the World Bank Group, the African Development Bank Group, European Commission, European Investment Bank and the Development Bank of Southern Africa.  In 2013 The Republic of South Africa became the first non-G8 member country.

On the African side, membership is led by the African Development Bank, while the AU Commission, the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency and the Regional Economic Communities participate as observers in ICA meetings.

Which countries and organizations can become ICA member?

Again, all the G8 countries are members. This includes: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom and United States.

The ICA is also open to G20 countries. These include:Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European State. 

Any bilateral or multilateral donors making significant financial contributions to infrastructure in Africa can join ICA, upon invitation by current ICA members.

Where is ICA based?

The ICA Secretariat is based in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire where we are hosted by the African Development Bank.

What does the ICA actually do?

The ICA Secretariat is funded by voluntary contributions (in cash or in kind) from ICA members and staffed by a combination of permanent staff from the African Development Bank and experts on secondment from ICA-member countries.

What does the ICA Secretariat do?

The ICA has a Secretariat office in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire – housed within the African Development Bank. This Secretariat office is where we work on activities to promote resource mobilization for four infrastructure sectors: Water, Energy, Transport and ICT.

We have member "champions" for each sector. For example, Germany champions the water platform and has a full-time representative in the Secretariat office. The European Investment Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency champion the transport platform - and there are full time representatives from both of those organizations at the Secretariat office. The United States champions the energy platform and works via a virtual work group in the United States.

The ICA Secretariat functions as a high-level advocate for the advancement of Africa Infrastructure. In this advocacy role, we do a number of things:

  • Produce Knowledge Products that inform and educate a wide audience on the current status of infrastructure investments in Africa.  For example, our annual report gives the most comprehensive annual summary of infrastructure investments in Africa.
  • Convene Productive Meetings that generate tangible outcomes. 
  • Facilitate Dialogue among stake-holders.
  • Assist in Mobilizing Resources: We facilitate donor conferences whereby regional projects can be reviewed by potential donors – for funding.
  • Training and Capacity Building – We offer hands on, practical training and capacity building services on things such as negotiating power pool agreements, preparing concept notes
  • Communicate to a Broad Audience – about the status of infrastructure investments in Africa. 

Does ICA fund infrastructure projects?

ICA is not a financing agency or a pooled financing facility. We do not purchase, finance or build projects. We do, however, produce valuable data and analysis that can be extremely useful for project promoters and those seeking financing. Also, we have created a great tool called the Project Preparation FUND FINDER – which can put you in touch with funding facilities – and periodically we host Donor Conferences whereby a specific set of project concepts are presented to international donors.These donor conferences are normally associated with one Regional Economic Community. For example, in 2013 the ICA hosted a very successful donor conference for the Lake Victoria Basin Commission – whereby 22 project concepts for Lake Victoria projects were presented to international donors. The ICA functions as a facilitator in these types of conferences.

Where can I get information about funding?

Check out the FUND FINDER on this website. It is an electronic database of funding facilities.

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