African cities, investors sign deal to explore new business

African cities, investors sign deal to explore new business

African Union Commissioner for Transport, Energy and ICT Amani Abou-Zeid (left), President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Jean Todt (centre) and National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) Director General George Njao.
 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

A partnership has been forged between local authorities and investors interested in exploring business opportunities in African cities.

The birth of Africities Trade and Investment Forum (ATIF) is geared towards helping local governments explore businesses available and discuss investment strategies.

The event that was chaired by African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Tourism, Amani Abou-Zeid, discussed strategies of providing cities with basic services and amenities.

Dr Abou-Zeid said the forum that brings together leaders of African cities and territories, private and public investors as well as service providers would consider the demographic, economic and financial contexts of every country.

“From there, partnership contracts leading to the realisation of investments in local and sub-national governments will be launched,” she said during the ninth edition of Africities Summit in Kisumu.

City-friendly vehicles

Mr David Jackson, the Director of Local Development Finance Unit at UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) expressed confidence that the partnership with United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) would yield fruit and ensure basic services to intermediary cities.

“We are delighted to work with UCLG Africa on how to incubate this and bring it to life. We hope to have good news about it,” Mr Jackson said.

Considering that urban centres have unique characteristics, Mr Jackson underlined the need to adopt city-friendly vehicles and an ecosystem of finance experts.

“We see the Africa Territorial Agency as a fundamental tool that needs to grow organically. Having regional chapters could be the way forward because of the different political and legal systems,” he said.

The event Africa saw the African Development Bank sign a contract dubbed “Municipal CFO Initiative”.

The deal aims at strengthening fiscal capacity and financial autonomy of municipalities.

While noting the impact that Covid-19 pandemic brought to Africa, they said the crisis has more than demonstrated the importance of developing a digital master plan which considers the unique challenges of the continent.

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