The Bank Group's Resource Mobilization & Partnerships Department (FIRM) in collaboration with the East Africa Regional Directorate (RDGE), has concluded its first regional Business Opportunities Seminar (BOS) in Nairobi, Kenya.
The three-day event (2-4 October) falls within a series of Bank activities, aimed to step up its partnership with the private sector and highlight their role in implementing the continent's transformation agenda, as enshrined in the High 5 strategy of the Bank.
During the event, the Bank showcased its strategic direction, operational priorities and vision, as well as its procurement rules and procedures, and how the Bank Group supports regional integration through decentralization. The speakers touched on key development challenges, and the solutions being implemented by the AfDB and its private sector partners. The discussions also highlighted the financial products and business opportunities available to both public and private sector actors.
The meeting brought together over 200 participants from 25 countries across the globe, including key players in East Africa's private sector. Following presentations on the Bank's various operational departments, the BOS focused on guidance to the private sector for ensuring cost-effective bids and proposals, among other issues.
The Bank acknowledges the private sector as key to transforming the lives of the African people. In this regard, the BOS not only aimed at increasing the pool of competent providers of goods and services to participate in Bank-financed projects, but also to crowd in private sector financing to scale-up its delivery of transformative projects. In this regard, the event highlighted the Bank Group's work in the area of public-private partnerships (PPPs) and its successes in the provision of credit enhancement instruments such as Partial Risk Guarantees (PRGs).
The Director-General for the East Africa regional hub, Gabriel Negatu said that a number of partnerships and financing opportunities had been identified, through which the Bank could further its support for private investments. He added: "we all wish to successfully implement projects and contribute to development impacts on the continent. The value of the Africa market is quite impressive."
The Bank Group is committed to organizing at least two BOSs per year, one at the its headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire and another in a regional member country, in order to ensure its financing is utilized by the most competent, knowledgeable and rigorous implementation partners from across the continent and the world. The BOS provides a sound understanding of the Bank's priority sectors, projects, procurement procedures and possible areas of collaboration, and helpful tips to contractors to allow them to submit responsive bids and proposals.
Participants in the East Africa BOS included individual consultants and consulting firms, major partners for infrastructure development and civil works contractors including Engie and Eiffage, local manufacturers, suppliers and SMEs, commercial attaches of embassies, Export-Import Banks, and peers in the development finance community.
The Resource Mobilization and Partnerships Department is part of the Finance Complex and has the mandate to mobilize Bank-wide resources from bilateral donors, co-financing partners and non-sovereign entities. It develops and maintains corporate-level strategic linkages with partners and collaborators. The AfDB held the first 2017 edition of the BOS on 20-21 June 2017 at the Bank's Headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.