The inaugural cohort includes 10 Fellows from five partner countries: Ethiopia, Gabon, Namibia, Cameroon, and Senegal, who will undertake a three-month capability building program in Paris, France comprising of academic training at the Ecole des Ponts ParisTech. The training includes a series of workshops by multilateral development banks and other public and private entities, the APMG Public-Private Partnerships Certification Program and an internship with one of the program’s private or public sector partners.
Partners of the program include the International Finance Corporation, MIGA (World Bank Group), the French Development Agency, Société Générale, the African Legal Support Facility, Colas among many others.
“We are thrilled to launch the first cohort of this important training program. Africa’s unmet infrastructure need is estimated at nearly $3 trillion by 2040 and this program plays an important role in developing greater capacity to deliver infrastructure investment and reform in Africa. I wish the Fellows all the best over the next three months and look forward to the impact that this next generation will bring to their home countries,” the GI Hub’s CEO, Marie Lam-Frendo said.
The AIFP is the first pan African training program and offers a unique approach focused on practical knowledge, sharing of expertise and cooperation between the private and the public sector for infrastructure projects with a tangible social and economic impact within communities.
“We have long been thinking about contributing more directly to the capacity building roadblock in Africa. With all the partners of the program, we have felt that a mix between a purely academic training and a leadership program would best be suited to support the rise of a new generation of high-level public sector decision-makers”, Meridiam’s CEO and AIFP Chairman, Thierry Déau, said.
The program will focus on sustainable and inclusive approaches to infrastructure projects and procurement while pursuing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by contributing to the improvement and promotion of sustainable infrastructure projects across the continent.
Developed by Meridiam and the Global Infrastructure Hub (GI Hub), with the support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and several African countries, the AIFP is a public utility foundation which aims to mobilise stakeholders across government, the private sector and multilateral development banks: academic experts and infrastructure professionals will deliver a program of tailored practical training to public sector infrastructure practitioners. The AIFP is a public-private initiative designed to upskill African government infrastructure specialists and enable them to facilitate increased investment in a pipeline of new infrastructure developments. The program is the first of its type to link the private and public sectors in African infrastructure procurement and delivery, designed in partnership with African governments and investors.
Over three months, participants will gain a robust understanding of infrastructure procurement, governance and the role of the private sector in infrastructure projects. Fellows will experience a mix of theoretical and practical training, opportunities to work within major private sector companies, and lead to the establishment of a strong network of infrastructure practitioners across Africa.
AIFP is designed to be flexible and responsive to the needs of each participating country, but at its core will comprise an academic component, a practical or ‘internship’ component, and an ongoing network of practitioners.
The inaugural training program ended on Dec 15th. After more than two months of intensive training on infrastructure public-private partnerships, the inaugural cohort of the Africa Infrastructure Fellowship Program (AIFP) graduated.