Summary of Proceedings of the seminar on
"Consultancy Opportunities in IFC sponsored projects in African Countries"
Background: The seminar was conducted by the Eximius Centre of Export Import Bank of India, at Bangalore on February 23, 1999. The objective of the seminar was to create awareness on emerging consultancy opportunities in projects sponsored by IFC in African countries.
Faculty: Mr. Alexander Nicholas Keyserlingk, General Manager, Special initiatives-Africa, IFC, Washington; Mr. Misheck Bernard Ngatunga, Regional Representative, East Africa; Dr. Ignatius Peprah, Regional Manager, West Africa; Mr. Kalada A. Harry, Regional Manager, Southern Africa; and Ms. Madeleine H. Minetti, Administrator, APDF, were the faculty for the seminar.
Target Sectors: The seminar was oriented towards targeting the financial, technical, management and other consultancy and services sectors.
Summary of Proceedings: In his introductory remarks, Mr. Keyserlingk made a presentation on the four components of IFC, viz., African Management Services Company (AMSCO), Africa Project Development Facility (APDF), Africa Enterprise Fund (AEF), and Technical Assistance Trust Funds (TATF) programme. It was indicated that while AMSCO is set up with the purpose of assisting private and public companies in strengthening the management, APDF is set up to assist private entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa in identification and preparation of viable projects. It was also informed that APDF assists African entrepreneurs in developing the projects, preparing project feasibility reports, identifying financial and technical partners and providing advisory services. It was further informed that the focus of APDF is to the SME sector, with a coverage of more than 80 % of the sponsored projects.
Outlining the working methodology of APDF, Mr. Keyserlingk informed the participants that the APDF offices, placed in six places, identify the projects, and refer them to the appropriate multilateral body which is active in that region. An initial assessment of projects is done by these APDF offices, and the technical, financial and marketing assistance is arranged through other agencies. APDF follows the development of the project closely and helps sponsors to define the terms of reference for independent consultants hired to prepare feasibility studies. It was further indicated that APDF can also help sponsors to identify and hire professional staff and to design a management organisation structure. Mr. Keyserlingk also outlined the Exim Bank-APDF arrangement under which APDF can draw upon the services of Indian consultants for specific assignments in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Mr. Mishak Bernard Ngatunga in his presentation informed the participants about the coverage of his office in 14 East African countries including Brunei, Comoros, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar, Somalia, etc. It was further indicated that the East African region covers all productive sectors, as well as agro-based industries, tourism, education and small rural infrastructure projects. Mr. Kalada A. Harry in his presentation covered the potential consultancy opportunities in South African countries including Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia etc. Mr. Harry informed that since 1986, over 320 APDF projects were sponsored all over Africa, mobilising financial resources of nearly $ 300 million. Of which over 70 projects were exclusively in the South African countries. On the sector-wise analysis of the projects, it was indicated that manufacturing accounted for 36 % of the projects, agriculture 23 % and agro-industries 19%. It was indicated that APDF believes that Indian consultants are of very good standard at par with consultants of any developed countries. The level of technology offered by India is also very high at par with other developed world.
Dr. Ignatius Peprah, in his presentation covered the opportunities available in the Ghana. It was indicated that about 25 % of all APDF projects are functioning in Ghana. With the inclusion of other countries in his region such as Nigeria, majority of the APDF projects are likely to fall in this region. It was further informed that there are many pipeline projects that are coming up in Ghana in sectors like Agro-industries, marine products, hotel, health, jute, textiles, jewelry, metals, electrical and printing, in which Indian consultants could offer their services through APDF. Dr. Peprah also suggested that under the banner of Exim Bank, Indian entrepreneurs could visit Ghana for interaction with the Ghana government and private sector entrepreneurs for future co-operation between the two countries.
Ms. Madeleine Minetti, Consultant Administrator, APDF in her presentation gave an outline on the procedures on registration of consultants, the formalities to be completed, recruitment procedure and travel and visa arrangements for the consultants. She requested the Indian consultants to send their CVs, respond as quickly as possible in order to enable them to give APDF assignments.
These presentations were followed by a session on experience sharing by few consultants who have worked in African countries. In this session it was indicated by the panelists that these African countries are absolutely safe and there should also be no fear on the payment part.
The seminar gave extensive opportunity to the participants to interact with the faculty members on various procedures and guidelines of the Bank with respect to the projects that are being implemented.
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