The SADC Committee of Ambassadors in Beijing, the China-Africa Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCOIC), in collaboration with the SADC Secretariat organised and hosted the Southern African Development Community (SADC) SADC Regional Infrastructure Investment Seminar on 9th July 2015 in Beijing China, at the Westin Beijing Chaoyang.
The Seminar was a major step towards showcasing the regional infrastructure projects elaborated by the SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan (RIDMP) that was adopted by SADC Heads of State and Government at their 32nd SADC Ordinary Summit held in August 2012 in Maputo, Mozambique. The Seminar was conducted under the theme “Energy, Water and Transport Revitalisation in the SADC Region”.
The main focus of the Seminar was to showcase priority infrastructure projects contained in the Short Term Action Plan (STAP) 2012-2017 and in particular those in the Energy, Transport and Water Sectors. The objective of the Conference was to bring to the table, a number of bankable projects and those under preparation for consideration and possible funding. The estimated cost of the projects in the Five-Year Plan is about USD 64 billion, and it is expected that private sector will play its key role by financing some of these key projects.
The Seminar was attended by major Chinese business community and other International Cooperating Partners, Investors, and Business Organizations.
The Seminar was officially opened by His Excellency Mr. Sasara Chasala George, Ambassador of the Republic of Botswana to the People’s Republic of China and Vice Chair of SADC Ambassadors in Beijing.
Mr Han Meiqing, Director of Cooperation and Development, China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) – mother body of the China-Africa Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CAJCCI) also made a statement during the official opening.
Keynote Address was given by Mr. He Meng, Counselor in the Department of African Affairs, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the People’s Republic of China. He highlighted the ongoing and potential cooperation between China and Southern Africa, and expressed satisfaction that SADC was a well-coordinated and organised community to undertake business with.
The Seminar was structured into six sessions namely: the Opening Session; Water and Energy investment opportunities; Transport sector investment opportunities; SADC - CHINA infrastructure financing modalities; way forward and closing remarks and a media briefing.
The Seminar noted that the SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan is a 15-year blueprint that will guide the implementation of cross-border infrastructure projects in the areas of six priority sectors – Energy, Transport, ICT, Meteorology, Water and Tourism between 2013 and 2027. It further noted that the Master Plan is being implemented over three five-year intervals, with the first interval covering the periods from 2012 to 2017 and initial investment target of around US$64 billion. The second and third intervals will cover the periods from 2017-2022 and 2022-2027 respectively with a total proposed investment of between US$428 billion and $US558 billion.
The Chinese investors and financiers noted the various projects that SADC was showcasing in the areas of power generation, power transmission and interconnectors; water infrastructure development relating to water supply and hydro-generation as well irrigation related projects; and transport projects identified in the 16 SADC corridors including the North-South Corridor, as well as airports and airport gateways projects.
The China Exim Bank presented the projects and areas in which they are already working with SADC Member States, and expressed their desire to focus on a number of areas going into the future, among them, financing solutions for power including green energy development; corridor transport infrastructure development including