Private Sector Investment Essential For Development Of Water In Africa

10 November 2008

fileadmin/documents/Water_meeting/ICA_Dakar_water_meeting_FR_final.pdfPress Release. [PDF 120kb][English]

One hundred and fifty decision-makers from around Africa, donor countries and international financial institutions will converge on Dakar, Senegal at the end of the month to consider what practical steps can be taken to attract investment by the private sector in water infrastructure development in Africa.

Financing Water for Growth in Africa will focus on how the level of private sector investment in the water sector across the continent might be increased.  The two-day meeting in Dakar, on 26 and 27 November, will also consider how the management and organisational expertise of the private sector could be utilised to increase the effectiveness of water delivery across Africa.

Financing Water for Growth in Africa
is being organised by the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA), whose role is to help improve the quality of life and economic well-being of Africans through promoting and supporting greater investment in infrastructure development in Africa by both the public and private sectors.
Officials from African governments, water utilities, international and regional institutions and the Regional Economic Communities will meet with financiers, advisers and senior experts from donor countries to discuss what can be done to secure increased private sector investment, engagement and expertise.

Speaking from the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa’s headquarters in Tunis, the organisation’s Coordinator, Alex Rugamba, said today: "In addition to bringing additional financial resources, the private sector has a tremendous repository of organisational and management expertise and we need to tap into this to help improve water service delivery across the African continent.

Millions of people in Africa still rely on unsafe water, while investment in water for commercial, agricultural and industrial activity is essential for Africa’s growth" he added. Achieving the Millennium Development Goals for water will require the construction, maintenance and management of a wide rage of water infrastructure - such as dams, irrigation systems, water treatment plants, distribution pipes and water management systems.

Key participants at the meeting will include:

  • Dr. Mandla Gantsho, Vice President, African Development Bank
  • Mr. Oumar Sarr, Minister for Urban Planning, Housing, Urban Water, Public Hygiene and Sanitation, Government of Senegal
  • Mr. Andrian Rakotobe, Director Water Department, African Development Bank
  • Mr. Eustache Ouayoro, Sector Manager, Water and Sanitation, World Bank
  • Mr. Lorenzo Bertolini, Regional Program Leader, PPIAF
  • Mr. John Hodges, Manager, Private Infrastructure Development Group
  • Mr. Sylvain Usher, Secretary General, African Water Association

Notes to Editors

  1. Media representatives are very welcome to attend the meeting, and to interview participants.  Requests for pre-meeting interviews with the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) and/or with key participants should be addressed to the ICA’s Communications Consultant (details below).
  2. The meeting will take place on 26 and 27 November 2008 at the Centre de Conference Meridien President, Dakar, Senegal.
  3. Hosted by the Government of Senegal, the meeting is being organised by the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (, the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility of the World Bank Group (, the African Development Bank ( and the US Agency for International Development (
  4. The Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) was launched at the G8 Gleneagles summit in 2005.  The Consortium’s mission is to help improve the lives and economic well-being of millions of people across the African continent through support to scaling up investment for infrastructure development from both public and private sources.  Many African countries lack the essential building blocks of economic progress - roads and railways (which are well maintained), access to electricity, the internet and mobile phones and water for drinking and sanitation. 

The ICA also works to help remove some of the technical and political challenges to building more infrastructures and to better coordinate the activities of its members and other significant sources of infrastructure finance, such as China, India and Arab partners.  

The ICA is supported by a small secretariat hosted by the African Development Bank.  Members include the G8 countries, World Bank Group, African Development Bank Group, European Commission, European Investment Bank and Development Bank of Southern Africa.

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