Mr. Issa Soormally, Vice Chairman of the Economic Development Board of Mauritius, participated, this Wednesday May 10th, in the High-Level Panel discussion on “Coordination and Investment Opportunities for Unlocking the Development of Regional Infrastructure Projects” hosted by the Secretariat of the SADC Regional Focus Forum. The event, which took place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) in the United Arab Emirates, focused on the theme of “Infrastructure Development in Support of Industrialization and Regional Integration.”
During his intervention, Mr. Issa Soormally elaborated on the topic of “How regional infrastructure development can support industrialization and trade facilitation.” He conducted a comprehensive analysis of the growth prospects in the SADC region, specifically highlighting the region’s natural resources, minerals, gas, and agricultural land, and the potential of harnessing these resources sustainably and efficiently to drive economic growth and attract foreign investment.
Emphasizing on the importance of improving infrastructure, Mr. Soormally stated: “Enhancing transportation networks, including roads, railways, ports, and airports to promote trade and regional integration are the key transformative factors. Investments in energy infrastructure, such as power generation and transmission, are essential to address energy deficits and support industrial development.” He also highlighted the role of regional integration and initiatives like the SADC Free Trade Area (FTA) and the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap in facilitating cross-border trade, reducing trade barriers, and encouraging investment flows within the region. Additionally, he underscored the vital role of agriculture and agribusiness in the SADC region’s development.
Furthermore, Mr. Soormally discussed innovative approaches to financing and investment in infrastructure within the SADC region. He mentioned various strategies such as Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), Infrastructure Bonds, Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs), Infrastructure Investment Funds, Blended Finance, Crowdfunding, and the Impact of Investing on the Development of Finance Institutions (DFIs). These innovative financing methods, he added, can help address the infrastructure deficit in Africa and stimulate economic growth. However, he emphasized the need for transparency, good governance, and effective project management to maximize the benefits of these strategies.