Transtec assisting the French Agency for Development in the realization of the Urban Projects Finance Initiative (UPFI) activities

 

 
Since January 2015 Transtec is providing technical assistance to the French Agency for Development (AFD) to support the implementation and the management of the Urban Projects Finance Initiative (UPFI) activities.

The UPFI aims at preparing and financing sustainable urban development projects in Mediterranean cities. The AFD manages this initiatives of approximately 5 million euros in collaboration with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), under the supervision of the European Commission.

To realize the second crucial phase of the UPFI, the AFD launched in 2014 a Framework Agreement of technical assistance to facilitate the preparation and definition of the feasibility of these projects. In its capacity of Project Management Unit (PMU), Transtec supports the AFD and its partners on the UPFI in managing and coordinating the second phase of the initiative.

 
 
 
UPFI supports the projects’ promoters in the southern and eastern Mediterranean countries in preparing and financing ambitious and innovative urban development projects aiming at job creation, poverty reduction, as well as urban upgrade. These projects target various urban development issues such as the implementation of a multi-cities urban development programme, urban area planning, regeneration of precarious districts, solid waste collection, urban transport infrastructure, the rehabilitation of former industrial areas or the strengthening of local capacities. 
 
In specific the UPFI is developed to respond to urban regional problematics and is implemented in nine countries in North Africa and in the Middle East, thus facilitating the sharing of expertise and the strengthening of an urban Mediterranean expertise. The beneficiary countries are Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia and Turkey. 
 
Support to urban development projects under UPFI is realized in three phases.
  • The identification of sustainable urban development projects with shared criteria;
  • The preparation of identified projects through the implementation of technical assistance missions enabling the carrying out of feasibility studies and strengthening capacities of project owners, countries and local beneficiary communities of the UPFI;
  • The financing and monitoring of projects by international financial institutions, some of which are in the front line, the EIB, the AFD, the EBRD, and the KfW, and other financial institutions could join these latter to co-finance some investments.
 
To date, eight projects are under preparation through several technical assistance contracts under this UPFI framework contract. 
  • Rehabilitation of the cotton district and its surroundings in Minat Al Bassal and Kafr Ashry in Alexandria, Egypt;
  • The urban upgrade project in the North Giza in Cairo (popular area of Kawmeya – Imbaba and Al Warrak), Egypt;
  • The national multi-cities regional and local development programme (phase 2), Jordan;
  • The Urban development project in Aqaba, Jordan;
  • The Greater Agadir project for the creation of a high-level service bus line, Morocco; 
  • The project on the development plan of the Valley of Bouregreg in Rabat (3rd sequence), Morocco;
  • The urban project of multi-site regeneration in Jericho, Palestine;
  • The project on the development of the seafront of Taparura in Sfax, Turkey.
 
In total, 12 technical assistance delivery activities and/or feasibility studies in five countries of North Africa and the Middle East were launched via the UPFI Framework Contract. Two other service contracts currently under preparation concern a rehabilitation programme of precarious neighborhoods in Tunisia and a multi-city urban development programme in Lebanon.  
 
In view of the advances on the UPFI initiative, Transtec’s activities were broaden. In addition to its initial role in procurement and management, the UPFI PMU also carries out more technical assignments in close coordination with the AFD and the EIB, and the other members of the UPFI Steering Committee: the European Commission and the UfM
 
Since March 2016 and under the supervision of the AFD and other partners of the UPFI, the PMU of Transtec collaborates with a new communication agency and translation company for the creation and maintenance of its communication tools. These communication tools in French, English, and Arabic strengthen the visibility of the UPFI and contribute to the creation of a community of urban development actors in the Mediterranean region. The presentation booklet of the UPFI (2016 edition) and the newsletter are available on the UPFI: website: www.upfi-med.com.
 
Transtec also intervenes on punctual operational services by mobilizing permanent and complimentary expertise to the PMU. These services can be complementary financial analyses necessary to deepen the institutional and financial set-up of some projects, or to support donors in the technical monitoring of activities and deliverables of different technical assistance tenders within the framework contract (FWC)
 
Since October 216 the PMU of Transtec also mobilizes its expertise to identify other mature urban projects in several countries in the region to define their needs in terms of technical assistance and feasibility studies in order that these projects can benefit from the second phase of the UPFI through the FWC. These projects must meet UPFI criteria, and comply to the current issues the region is currently facing such as resilience to migration, climate change and smart cities. To date, the PMU carries out its project identification activities in Lebanon, Algeria and Morocco and identification missions are being prepared in Palestine and Jordan. 
 
 
 Published 09/05/2017

 
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