Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Thursday that Tanzania’s huge development project– the Julius Nyerere Hydroelectric Power Project (JNHPP) – that is being constructed by Egyptian and Tanzanian hands is a model for cooperation between African countries in the field of development.
Madbouly said that the JNHPP, whose inauguration ceremony for the filling of its reservoir was in December, highlights the capabilities and expertise accumulated by Egyptian companies in the field of infrastructure, stressing that Egypt stands ready to share all experiences with brotherly African countries.
The premier’s remarks came during his speech, on behalf of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, at the 2nd Dakar Financing Summit for Africa's Infrastructure Development (DFS-2), which is being held on Thursday and Friday in the Senegalese capital Dakar.
The construction of the $3 billion JNHPP was concluded in October 2022, nearly three years after its beginning, through a joint venture of two Egyptian companies – the Arab Contractors Company and El-Sewedy Electric. The JNHPP was established with the aim to double Tanzania's energy production, control floods, and improve agriculture.
Madbouly also highlighted the importance of African countries sharing their experiences with each other. He pointed out to Egypt's "pioneering development experience in the field of infrastructure over the past eight years," highlighting that the investments in Egypt in the field of infrastructure "has amounted to nearly $ 170 billion."
This, the premier said, did not only contribute to the development of the existing infrastructure network and building New cities that attract investments, but also to providing about 5 million job opportunities for Egyptian youth.
He also called for exerting more efforts to mobilise financing for continental link projects within the framework of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa’s second Priority Action Plan (PIDA-PAP 2), including the Victoria-Mediterranean naval linkage project.
The naval route linking Lake Victoria and the Mediterranean through the Nile River, which was launched in 2013, is one of the regional projects sponsored by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development’s (NEPAD) Presidential Infrastructure Development Initiative.
Egypt is leading this project under the patronage of President El-Sisi with the participation of all Nile Basin countries, including Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.
Moreover, Madbouly tackled the role and responsibility of international partners and international financing institutions in bridging the financing gap in sustainable development projects and in reducing the debt burdens of the most affected countries, especially those developing countries whose debt rates have reached dangerous levels that exceed 250% of their revenues.
The World Bank statistics indicate that the African continent needs approximately $100 billion annually to bridge the financing gap associated with infrastructure projects, according to Madbouly.
In this context, he emphasised the importance of activating the African continent’s initiative to obtain a seat in the G20 economic group, as this would represent an opportunity for the voice of African countries to be heard, and for the formulation of policies more consistent with reality.
Madbouly also highlighted the significance of benefiting from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which entered into force in 2019 during Egypt's presidency of the African Union, pointing out that the benefits of the AfCFTA cannot be reaped without large investments that achieve continental connectivity. The premier added that Egypt attaches great importance to this issue in light of its current presidency of the Common Market For Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
The AfCFTA agreement — which was signed in March 2018 in Rwanda and is the world’s largest free-trade area — came into effect on 1 January 2021. AfCFTA, which created a market of 1.2 billion people, is the eighth largest economic bloc in the world. It has a combined GDP of $3 trillion that is expected to more than double by 2050, according to the AU.
2nd Dakar Financing Summit
Madbouly left on Wednesday to Dakar leading a delegation comprising the ministers of electricity, housing, and transportation, as well as representatives of major Egyptian companies in the infrastructure domain.
Cabinet Spokesman Nader Saad underlined the importance of Egypt's participation in the summit, which is in line with Egypt's policies to promote development efforts in Africa.
The summit will offer Egypt's private sector the opportunity to participate in infrastructure projects in Africa. It will also give Egypt the chance to review available investment opportunities before the international business community, especially in light of the participation of representatives of international financing institutions and development banks in the summit.
Madbouly is scheduled to deliver a speech on behalf of President El-Sisi and hold one-on-one meetings on the sidelines of the summit which will be attended by a number of heads of state and governments, the spokesman said.
In press statements on Wednesday, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker said the summit is part of a programme to develop infrastructure in Africa in accordance with the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
President El-Sisi has asserted in recent comments that the African continent needs a fully-fledged international project to develop its infrastructure.
This project requires the mobilisation of resources and support from leading countries and global development experts, El-Sisi said.
The Dakar Summit is held under the leadership of Senegal President and Chairperson of the African Union Macky Sall.
The summit aims to mobilise key stakeholders around the efforts of the African Union and the African Union Development Agency to accelerate the implementation of priority regional infrastructure projects.
The stakeholders include African heads of state and governments, business executives, development Finance Institutions, private investors, institutional investors, and development partner institutions.