The World Bank has urged South African companies to stake a claim to the $45 billion that the group has set aside for projects on the African continent.
Speaking at a seminar on doing business with the World Bank on Friday, Executive Director of the World Bank Group representing Angola, Nigeria and South Africa, Bongi Kunene, urged local companies to make use of opportunities presented by the group.
“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 low-income countries of the world. As a board we have decided that US$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,” said Kunene.
Kunene said the money will be used in various sectors of infrastructure. These include economic infrastructure such as roads, water and energy.
“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.
The seminar was hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) through its division, Trade Invest Africa (TIA).
The purpose of the seminar that was held in Sandton, Johannesburg, 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.
Acting Chief Executive Officer of TIA, Lerato Mataboge, said the seminar was in line with the division’s mandate of assisting South African businesses to 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 US$45 billion cake,” said Mataboge