ICA annual meeting urges Africa to adopt emerging digital and green technologies to boost economic growth, achieve SDGs
13 November 2017
Participants at the annual meeting of the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) agreed that sustainable and efficient infrastructure, using emerging digital and green technologies, is the best way to accelerate economic growth across the continent.
Gathering in Rome, Italy, in October 2017 participants further agreed that Africans would obtain the most benefit from future investment in infrastructure if the focus was on smart and integrated infrastructure solutions, with an emphasis on cross-border and regional infrastructure projects.
Hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and jointly organised by the ICA, AfDB and the Government of Italy (as Chair of the G7), the 13th Annual Meeting of the ICA on 19 & 20 October 2017 attracted over 300 participants, including ministerial-led delegations from Kenya and Tunisia. Representatives from the Regional Economic Communities, other African countries and stakeholders, ICA members, bilateral and multilateral donors and many private sector players also attended.
The meeting heard from the authors of the background paper that Africa could achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals by adopting new and emerging technologies, materials and processes which would help accelerate economic growth.
"Toward Smart and Integrated Infrastructure for Africa", produced as a background and discussion paper for the annual meeting, urges African countries not to repeat the technological mistakes made by other regions in the world when developing new infrastructure, and recommends the continent 'leapfrog' to new technologies, including green and digital technologies.
The first day of the meeting, attended by ICA members and African stakeholders, reviewed and discussed the findings of the ICA’s flagship report “Infrastructure Financing Trends in Africa 2017”. Participants commended the report for its consistent presentation of financing trends and, describing the annual report as a key document for all African infrastructure stakeholders, donors and decision-makers, urged the ICA to develop it further in future by reporting and analysing infrastructure financing needs as well as trends.