EAC to woo investors using Diaspora fund
Posted Wednesday, October 16 2013 at 01:00
Kampala- In order to develop the regional infrastructure, the East African Community intends to attract the private sector to invest through a Diaspora fund.
Co-funding joint infrastructure projects is expected to reduce the cost of doing business in the region.
Infrastructure is one of the challenges that has seen the cost doing business in the region escalate because of the delays.
Mr Philip Wambugu, the EAC director of infrastructure, during the second Secretary General’s Forum held last week, said: “The heads of states have directed us to work-plans where the private sector, especially those in the Diaspora, can come on board to set up a fund.”
He said once EAC mobilises this kind of fund, it will be easy to supplement on to the total budget from the donors funds.
Mr Wambugu added that the other challenge has been the member states’ delay to allocate funds to the respective infrastructure within the EAC master plan.
“EAC is structured to develop an infrastructural master plan for all the member states to take them up. Unfortunately, some projects have not taken off because member states have to synchronise with their respective priorities and that is how EAC has lost out,” Mr Wambugu added.
He further said some of the projects they are working on have suffered set-backs because of the difference in the economies which makes designs and materials more expensive than others.
“You find that a kilometre of a two-lane road in EAC costs $1 million and this is way too much compared to the global cost,” Mr Wambugu added.
Despite the challenges, EAC has seen some successful projects like the urban-by passes which are now used to divert trucks from accessing the city centres.
He said they have developed several other roads like the Athi-River Namanga -Arusha which now takes four-hours to travel to Arusha down from more than 10 hours or more.
Others are Arusha-Voyi which will link massive development in Tanzania, Uganda and Tanzania which will create a new corridor to Burundi and Tanzania.
Most of the Infrastructure projects will be jointly funded by the member states.
• The proposed new Tanga-Musoma-Kampala-Juba corridor through Serengeti national park and over Lake Victoria
• The Mombasa-Kampala-Kigali railway
•The El doret–Kampala oil pipeline