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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Investment in Africa: Infrastructure and Regional Value Chains

  SAIIA

The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), in collaboration with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) will host a roundtable discussion on 'Investment in Africa: Infrastructure and Regional Value Chains'.

Over the past two years, support from KAS has been applied to undertake a number of studies on the investment environment and challenges across the Southern African region. During a joint roundtable discussion SAIIA will share findings from this body of research, particularly as investment relates to infrastructure development and the development of regional value chains in Southern Africa. It will also explore future areas of potential German-African cooperation.

Event Details 

Date:       Thursday, 7 December 2017
Venue:     Akademie Berlin
Address:  Tiergartenstraße 35, Berlin, Germany
Time:       15h00 until 17h30
RSVP:      Interested participants can contact Cyril Prinsloo for more details.

Infrastructure development, as an enabler of sustainable growth and poverty alleviation, remains a key objective for all African countries. Yet, the infrastructure financing landscape has changed drastically over the past two decades. Historically, multilateral development banks – such as the World Bank or the African Development Bank – provided the lion’s share of external financing for infrastructure projects. The advent of other creditors, such as emerging countries (e.g. China) and private investors, along with the increased capacity of African governments to tap into domestic and global bond markets, have altered the landscape. While old challenges such as the lack of capacity, institutional strength and lack of bankable projects remain, new challenges such as negotiating fair public-private partnership contracts and debt sustainability of sovereigns have emerged. Drawing on past research from Southern Africa (Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Tanzania) and other African countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and Senegal), the session on Infrastructure Investment will explore these changing dynamics, highlight challenges to infrastructure development and explore areas of future German – African cooperation.

The rise of globalisation in recent decades has touched every corner of the world. This phenomenon has not only driven an increase in international communication and trade, but also led to a trend of fragmented production. Today, a single company’s supply chain might house production in multiple continents, forming “global and regional value chains” (G/RVCs). Multinational companies have increasingly engaged emerging economics in G/RVCs, providing significant industrialisation and development opportunities through employment and skills and technology transfer. However, emerging economies also face many bottlenecks to further G/RVC integration, such as production efficiency, marketing, and logistics constraints. This session will explore the challenges and opportunities for manufacturing and agro-processing value chains in the SADC region. SAIIA’s past research has covered a range of countries, with particular focus on South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho, Mauritius and Swaziland. The session will specifically examine the constraints and opportunities for current and potential investors involved in G/RVCs in the region, as well as policies that have enabled or restrict G/RVCs.