Programme Director Mr William Mzimba from ACCENTURE
The Management Team of the Siyeza Management – The Conference Organisers
Sponsors of the Rand Merchant Bank, DBSA, SANTAM and ACCENTURE, ACSA and
Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki of the NEPAD Agency – the founding Partner of this conference
Mr Jayendra Naidoo J& J Group
Mr Rieaz Moe Shaik of the Development Bank of Southern African
Industry leaders and Investors
Academics and Scholars from across the continent and beyond
Business peoples and fellow public representatives
Organisers and sponsors
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is with boundless pleasure and exceptional sense of privilege that I, on behalf of the people of Gauteng, extend our world famous and warm embrace of welcome to you.
We are elated that you are here. The future of our people is inextricable linked to the progressive outcomes of this Infrastructure Africa Conference that you so graciously honoured this morning.
The key objectives, for this Conference amongst others is to increase the number of investment companies and players such as the commercial banks, DFI's, investment banks, investment or infrastructure funds, as well as alternative funding through the pension and sovereign wealth funds. This in turn will encourage the key project developers from throughout Africa to attend and showcase their investable projects.
Secondly, we would like to encourage more project developers to attend and possibly speak. There is a need for bankable projects to be showcased to the investment community. Ie: DBSA has in the region of R1.5billion in funds available for infrastructure projects, but access to bankable, sustainable projects is limited through Africa.
Thirdly, this event we will create a business matchmaking programme with Outsmart
Marketing, to encourage one-on-one networking meetings to drive business development.
Lastly, we have two focused Country sessions - Ghana and Uganda - where panelists will be discussing infrastructure projects and development, as well as investment opportunities available in these emerging countries.
The Topics to be discussed include:
• Identifying, preparing and financing critical and bankable infrastructure projects
• The evaluation of PIDAs implementation and progress
• Country Sessions - Uganda and Ghana
• Financing infrastructure development in Africa as a Case Study by DBSA's commitment of loan and guarantee facilities amounting to ZAR2billion eamarked for the GDF Suez Peakers Independent Power Producers Consortium
• Agriculture and transboundary water projects in Africa
• ICT & Telecoms in Africa
• Project development and access to projects
• Alternative funding: Sovereign Wealth Fund and Pension Fund investment into
The economic survival of our nation, like that of the rest of the peoples of Africa, is dependent on how well we look after this magnificent initiative between the private sector, the academic community and us - their representatives.
After her country’s global display of football splendour last week, her Excellency President
Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, bid farewell to thousands of football fans who had made Brazil their home for more than a month. As she did so, she also welcomed delegates of the sixth economic community of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) to northeastern city of Fortalez to make world history.
In Fortalez, leaders of BRICS agreed on a ground-breaking $150 billion reserve fund to establish the BRICS Development Bank. Amongst other key developmental needs of the fund, it would be the infrastructure development initiatives of member countries.
Programme Director, we in Gauteng as you will appreciate, play host to the country’s economic hub. We provide infrastructure as an enabler of the delivery of quality services.
Through the Gauteng Province Department of Infrastructure Development (GPDID) we deliver infrastructure to provide education, social development, community development and health; and this we do whilst we ensure employment creation, poverty relief, skills training as well as ensuring access to services.
So, naturally, the news form Fortalez was well received here in Johannesburg.
We are of course very central to the events as they unfolded in Brazil. As Madam Rousseff passed the baton to His Excellency President Vladimir Putin of Russia, South Africa was the first BRICS member to host the Word Cup in 2010.
So, Programme Director, the road to Brazil and by extension, the road to Russia was constructed through the knowledge we have sought through engagements like this one. In fact, your conference could not have come at a more opportune time.
On a global scale, we can engage on South Africa’s and Africa’s response to the Millennium
Development Goals (MDG’s). For starters, as South Africa we have a very unique approach to the MDGs in relations to infrastructure because infrastructure planning in our country is co-ordinated from the highest office-The Presidency.
This is the case because we are marked by huge discrepancies in wealth, resources, educational and career opportunities. This is not only a legacy of apartheid: it's a feature of newly industrialising countries everywhere, as they try to remain competitive in an increasingly globalised world. When we are to look into issues of the MDG’s, we do so from a very careful national outlook.
This national perspective is captured most succinctly by President Jacob Zuma in the
Summary of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission:
“We have chosen a path of counter-cyclical spending driven by catalytic infrastructure investment. We are striking a fine balance between protecting our sovereign integrity while leveraging the multiplier impact of fixed capital formation.
Valuable lessons have been learned from our most recent build programmes, such as the 2010 World Cup stadiums, King Shaka International Airport, Medupi Power
Station and Gautrain. We are constantly improving our turnaround times and efficiency, enabling a larger developmental impact.”
This view is of course consistent with our continental approach to how we see the future of the continent including at international multi-national multi-laterals. African leaders pledged to articulate and align these ideals and goals with their respective national development plans in the development of the Continental Agenda 2063.
By this resolute commitment, Africa has set herself on a path to renewal and the creation of a better life for her people. In the AU’s own words ‘Agenda 2063, is an approach to how the continent should effectively learn from lessons of the past, build on the progress currently underway and strategically exploit all possible opportunities available in the short, medium and long term so as to ensure positive socio-economic transformation within the next fifty years.
While there’s no denying that transport infrastructure, such as roads, rail and ports remain key constraints to the continent’s growth, today’s challenges also include such things as the energy needs to power up the productive industries in growing economies with burgeoning urban populations.
It is in this context that in Gauteng, we are rolling out Green Agenda Initiatives as part of our own contribution towards climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies as well as the green and smart economy. The Program entails mainly, the roof-top solar panel roll out project (which will simultaneously address existing constraints of land and power supply), the energy efficiency retrofit project and the hospital affordable clean energy project.
We also have launched the smart schools Programme in terms of which all new schools will now have assembly halls, technology front end and backbone infrastructure will be introduced to comply with e-learning and smart education.
Finally, I must emphasize that the continent of Africa and its people have great expectations from this process and that each and every participant here must bear this in mind as they approach the deliberations today and others that will follow.
On this note, I am happy to conclude by wishing you all productive, focused and rewarding deliberations. I am confident that this will be one of a series of results-oriented “quality dialogues” that will promote the accomplishment of Africa’s renewal through smart and efficient infrastructure.
I thank you