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PROJECT FINANCE: Infrastructure Project Finance Conference 2010


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Traditionally a dominant donor nation contributing up to six percent of its Gross National Product (GNP) to social and economic programmes in developing countries, Saudi Arabia will be turning its gaze towards infrastructure and development in Africa next week at the 3rd annual Infrastructure Project Finance Conference, to be held at the Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg, from 17 to18 August 2010. The conference will focus on the financing of projects in Africa, offering fresh insights and new modalities for contractors, consultants and suppliers. The event is endorsed by the NEPAD Business Foundation and the International Project Finance Association.

Amongst the long list of keynote speakers will be Mohamed Abdelsatir, head of the Department of Research and Translation at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Pretoria, South Africa. As the chosen representative of the embassy, Abdelsatir will address conference delegates on Saudi Arabian funding in Africa, as well as the Saudi Fund for Development. “My presentation will include general background about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” he says. “I will also highlight the economic indicators, a few economic and financial institutions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi Fund and its contribution to the African continent.”

This address will represent the key goals of the conference, allowing interested parties to gather information on the financing of projects in Africa from established sources of funding, such as Saudi Arabia. The financial institutions in the Middle Eastern country are no strangers to project finance in Africa – in fact, Kenya has recently received loan funding from the Saudi Fund and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) to finance the construction of the Nuno-Modogashe road in the northern part of the country. To date, BADEA has spent almost US$1 billion in Kenya since its inception 35 years ago.

Similarly, both BADEA and the Saudi Fund for Development have signed loan agreements totalling US$22 million with the government of Uganda in order to finance a new rural electrification project which will start in March 2011 and will aid in attracting foreign investment to rural areas, as well as industrialisation of the areas, reduction of rural-urban migration and job creation.

Topics to be addressed during the two-day Africa Project Infrastructure conference include:

 “The Growing Role of the Development Bank of Southern Africa as Lead Financier in Regional Programmes” by Admassu Tadesse - Group Executive: Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA)
 “Getting to Yes: Infrastructure Finance in Difficult Times” by Anthony Sykes, Board member of the International Project Finance Association
 Overview of Commercial and PPP Project Financing Trends in Africa
 African Regional Development Banks: Panel discussion facilitated by John Rocha – Spatial Development Initiative Unit: DBSA
 South Africa Infrastructure Funding: Panel discussion facilitated by Brian Statham – Chairman: SA National Energy Association
 Project Finance Experiential Sessions for Contractors, Consultants and Suppliers – Guidelines for Packaging Project Proposals: Facilitated by Charles Marais – Routledge Modise Eversheds
 Export Credit Agencies: Facilitated by Johan Greyling – Director: Cresco Project Finance and South African representative of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency of the World Bank. Panellists include Albert Rweyemamu – The African Trade Insurance Agency and Terry Makhubele – Manager of Credit Risk Assessment and Underwriting: Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa
 Guidelines on Innovative Financing Methods for Public Private Partnerships
 Arab funding in Africa (new in this year’s programme)
 Involvement of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, Indian, China) countries in Sub-Saharan African projects by Jeremy Stevens – Group Economics: Standard Bank
 Update on the North-South Corridor and its cross-sector implications
 Sectoral overviews, including transport, agriculture, hotels/commercial property, telecommunications/ICT, mining/oil, gas and energy and power/water and sanitation

For more information on the conference, contact Heather Hook of Fair Consultants.

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