Not all infrastructure development in Africa is funded by the Chinese – Barrow

Lamin Barrow – AfDB

Even though most of the construction works in African countries are being done by Chinese nationals, they  are not funding all the projects.

Mr. Lamin G. Barrow, the Resident Representative of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Ethiopia said at the ongoing  Second African Trade Forum (ATF II) Tuesday September 25, 2012, in Addis Ababa that not all infrastructure projects in Africa are funded by the Chinese, even though they are doing the construction works.

“It is not every construction work you see being done by the Chinese that are being funded by the Chinese, they are construction workers,” he said.

He told in an exclusive interview that Chinese construction companies have about 50 percent of the AfDB’s infrastructure projects in Africa, because they are efficient and they give value for money.

He indicated that the AfDB funds most of the major infrastructure projects on the continent, such as the Thika Road project in Kenya and the electricity project to connect East African countries.

The Board of the AfDB gave approval for a $348 million funding of the $1.26 billion electricity transmission project between Kenya and Ethiopia, this week, the Bank announced.

The project will be commissioned in November 2017, and it involves the construction of a 1,068-kilometre high-voltage direct current 500 kV transmission line between the two countries.

It also includes associated converter stations at Wolayta-Sodo (Ethiopia) and Suswa (Kenya), with a power transfer capacity of up to 2,000 megawatts.

It is intended to promote power trade and regional integration, contribute to the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) countries’ social and economic development, and reduce poverty in those countries.

According to Mr. Barrow, construction firms from China are becoming competitive and that’s why they are winning most of the construction projects on the continent, he therefore, urged construction companies in Africa to form consortiums  so they can become competitive.

Meanwhile, participants at the ATF II have called for less talk and more action to make intra-African trade a reality.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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