COMESA Countries from the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region meet next week in Nairobi to discuss strategies and funding for development of infrastructure at the Infrastructure Development Conference organized by EAC, COMESA and SADC under the Tripartite Framework in conjunction with IGAD.
The Conference runs from Thursday 28 to Friday 29 October and Kenyan President H.E. Mwai Kibaki is expected to grace its official opening at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC).
The event, themed Linking up Eastern and Southern Africa for sustainable economic development & best practices in private sector opportunities, will be characterized by presentations and plenary discussions on several topics including projects and programmes within the Tripartite arrangement, infrastructure developments, public-private partnerships, and business opportunities for SMEs in infrastructure.
Key among the gains expected from the Conference are funding commitments by the international donor community for the pre-feasibility and feasibility work that will be needed for development of Aid for Trade programmes along major transport corridors in the ESA region.
In addition, it is envisaged that the meeting will birth partnerships between regional SMEs and companies from Europe that are geared towards the promotion of projects and services in the infrastructure and related sectors.
The EAC Director for Planning and Infrastructure Mr. Philip Wambugu says the event will be the first where special attention will be given to the roles that small and medium enterprises (especially African companies) can play in the provision of infrastructure services such as engineering and design, construction, transport, logistics, management and operation of infrastructure facilities.
The Infrastructure Development Conference will be attended by among others, the Secretary General of the East African Community and Chair of the COMESA, EAC, SADC Tripartite, Ambassador Juma Mwapachu; the Secretary General of COMESA, Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya; the Executive Secretary of SADC, Dr. Tomaz Salmao; the Executive Secretary of IGAD, Amb. Mahboub Maalim Mohamed; EAC Director for Planning and Infrastructure, Mr. Philip Wambugu; and representatives from key ministries such as Trade, Commerce and Industry, Infrastructure and regional integration. Key industry leaders and solutions providers from the region and beyond are also expected at the Conference.
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