The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has unveiled the Model Law on trans-boundary infrastructure projects in Africa.
The ECA and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) had in 2016 been tasked by African leaders to develop a framework that would harmonize laws across the continent to make it easier for the private sector to invest in transboundary infrastructure.
The proposed law provides a framework for the harmonization of cross-border rules, regulations, laws and policies governing related developments.
It is expected to pave way for more transparency, efficiency and accountability to public and private sector engagements in transboundary infrastructure as it provides a means of mitigating and managing perceived risks associated with these developments and bridges the gap between social and private benefits of such huge investments.
Adeyinka Adeyemi, Senior Advisor and Head of the Regional Integration and Infrastructure Cluster in the ECA’s Capacity Development Division said, “Now we have developed the continent-wide model law to enhance investment in transboundary infrastructure at the request of African leaders and we hope this will go a long way in dealing with the specific risks that were hindering investment in transboundary infrastructure in Africa.”
Experts and potential investors in the sector have been facing many challenges including a big number of policies, laws and regulations which inhibit private sector investment.
Having conducted a comprehensive study of risks related to investment in transboundary infrastructure in Africa, the ECA said the Model Law addresses the concerns of foreign investors and will protect their rights.
It is also expected to facilitate private sector investment and financing in transboundary infrastructure projects; harmonise cross-border regulation of such projects; and promote intra-African trade and open domestic markets to international trade as well.
The Model Law is expected to be adopted by African Heads of State and Government at their January 2018 Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia after which it will be domesticated by African Nations.