African Union vows to boost infrastructure development

January 31st, 2012 - 1:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Addis Ababa, Jan 31 (IANS) Africa will accelerate its infrastructure development and put in place related policies and laws to boost the integration process, said a document from the African Union (AU) at the end of its 18th summit here Tuesday.

The document, dubbed “Declaration on the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa”, said the summit recognizes “the vital role of infrastructure and related services in the political and social-economic development, and physical integration of the continent”, especially given the population growth and economic demand, reported Xinhua.

The member states of the organization should increase public financing of infrastructure, implement major power projects such as hydroelectricity, oil refinery and gas pipelines, accelerate the construction of missing links and modernization of railways, and increase the ports capacity, said the declaration.

African countries should also develop new and renewable energy resources to provide clean, reliable and affordable energy as well as nuclear energy for peaceful use, the statement added.

The summit also recommended developing regional and continental broadband networks and submarine cables to promote digital economy.

The summit appealed to international institutions such as the UN Economic Commission for Africa, the African development Bank and the World Bank to support the implementation of the projects and plans.

The document said the need for infrastructure will reach about $60 billion in the next 10 years.

African population suffers from low level connectivity of infrastructure networks and poor access to energy and information services, said the document.

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