World Bank Seeks SA Firms’ Participation in $45b Projects
By Dipo Olowookere
South African companies have been invited to stake a claim to the $45 billion that the World Bank Group has set aside for projects in Africa.
Executive Director of the World Bank representing Angola, Nigeria and South Africa, Ms Bongi Kunene, made this call at a seminar on Doing Business with The World Bank Group that was co-hosted with the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) through its Trade Invest Africa Division in Sandton.
The purpose of the seminar was to provide a platform for the Group to share information on how it works with the private sector in partnership with governments, as well as its private sector financing vehicles.
“This seminar provides a perfect opportunity for us to share with the private sector opportunities that are available in the World Bank Group. We have raised $72 billion for the low-income countries of the world and as a board we have decided that $45 billion of that money will be spent in Africa.
“The clients are African governments but as you know, most of government work is executed by contractors. Today is the opportunity for the World Bank to explain to all of you South African businesses how to make it as a contractor,” said Ms Kunene.
She added that the money will be used in various sectors of infrastructure. These include economic infrastructure such as roads, water and energy.
“But we will go beyond economic infrastructure and also touch on social infrastructure including hospitals. We will also help government to procure goods and services such as books, computers and medical equipment. So this provides a vast opportunity for any company that qualifies to be able to participate in the projects,” stressed Kunene.
Acting Chief Executive Office of Trade Invest Africa (TIA), Ms Lerato Mataboge said the seminar was in line with TIA’s mandate of assisting South African businesses access investment and trade opportunities in various parts of the African Continent.
“It was essential for us to partner with the World Bank Group for this seminar so that companies would get directly from the Bank’s officials the projects that are available and what the requirements and processes that they need to follow are. We are hoping that most of the companies in attendance here will be able to get slices of the $45 billion cake,” said Ms Mataboge.