The African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa Raila Odinga exhorted Africa to capitalize in Infrastructure Development in a bid to energize Intra – Africa Trade
By Abdul Rahman Bangura–
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Freetown, Sierra Leone – “To realize our potential in intra-Africa and regional trade, we must invest in appropriate transport, energy, and Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure as a matter of priority,” Odinga told during the forum on regional infrastructure coordinated by Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
It was a three days event that started off on Tuesday drew policymakers from the IGAD member states of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda to communicate the enactment of the IGAD Regional Infrastructure Master Plan (IRIMP).
Odinga denounced the ca’s sluggish stride of effort on infrastructure, which he said, is the most crucial enabler of trade among African countries. He disclosed that trade liberalization policies independently will not be adequate to drive intra-Africa trade.
According to the AU envoy, delivery of infrastructure on a regional scale continues the nicest alternative to prompt trade and manufacturing that creates jobs.
The former Kenyan Prime Minister – Raila Odinga discerned that, only regional integration will correlate the landlocked nations on the mainland to the external world and open them up for trade and investment.
He added that regional infrastructure projects need to be incorporated in national development plans and also prioritized in regional economic communities (RECs) infrastructure master plans.
“Infrastructure projects that cut across national boundaries and are regional can all be developed simultaneously, with each country committing to do its part while the RECS provide supporting and coordinating roles coordinated.
Workneh Gebeyehu, IGAD executive roles coordinated that, although infrastructure development is an expensive undertaking, more is lost by not investing in infrastructure, than it would cost to spend on it.
“This is because, after peace and security, the lack of infrastructure is the second most serious barrier to trade and development,” Gebeyehu added.
For New Africa Business News (NABN) Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent