The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the African Union have agreed to have a strategic partnership towards a more secure, sustainable and clean energy future for countries across the African continent.
The joint commitment was formalised through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on 28 May 2018 in Paris by Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, and H.E. Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, the African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy.
The MoU provides a general framework for cooperation on activities and projects that advance shared interests in areas of energy security, energy statistics, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable economic development.
Clean energy future for Africa
“There is a saying in Africa – if you want to go fast, you go alone; if you want to go far, you go together,” said Dr Abou-Zeid.
Dr Abou-Zeid added: “It is the reason we decided to enter into a strategic partnership with the IEA. The signing of this MoU marks a milestone for the AUC and IEA. It will strengthen our ability to deliver on our respective mandates in a mutually enriching way.”
Dr Birol also commented: “The agreement is a cornerstone of joint efforts to work toward a more secure, sustainable and clean energy future for Africa.
“The timing of our ceremony here today could not be more appropriate as across the world we celebrate this 55th anniversary of Africa Day.”
Eradicating energy poverty is a priority for the IEA and the agreement will play a vital role in stepping up efforts to achieve secure and sustainable energy for all.
Dignitaries from Africa, under the auspices of the African Union’s NEPAD Agency, in collaboration with the NEPAD/APRM Kenya Secretariat, converged on Nairobi from 23 – 24 May 2018 for the Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative (PICI) Technical Task Team workshop to deliberate on the way forward for the initiative and to present the progress status of each of the PICI projects. PICI is a continental initiative created to accelerate regional infrastructure development across Africa through political championing of projects.
The workshop, which was opened by Hon. Peter Munya, Cabinet Secretary, East African Community and Northern Corridor Development, brought together relevant stakeholders and the PICI Country Focal Points to provide inputs for the preparation of the Comprehensive PICI Project Status Report. The report will be submitted to the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee for onward transmission to the July African Union Assembly.
NEPAD Agency’s PICI Coordinator, Dr John Tambi set the scene by contextualising the PICI projects within the framework of PIDA, as a precursor to this continental strategic framework for infrastructure, before presenting to the audience the different achievements and milestones for each of the PICI projects. Dr Tambi gave the opening speech on behalf of Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of the NEPAD Agency, who stated amongst others, that the role of the Country Focal Points and members of the PICI Technical Task Team is of tremendous importance to provide leadership and direction for infrastructure development in Africa.
In attendance were development partners, from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and representatives from the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), and Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), CCTFA, and UMA. Participants were drawn from Kenya, Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Niger, Rwanda, South Africa and Namibia.
Progress achieved in the development of various projects under PICI across the continent was highlighted. These projects include:
- The Missing Links of the Trans-Sahara Highway and Optic Fibre Link between Algeria and Nigeria via Niger championed by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria;
- The Nigeria-Algeria Gas Pipeline Project (Trans-Sahara Gas Pipeline) championed by President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria;
- The Dakar-Ndjamena-Djbouti Road/Rail Project championed by President Macky Sall;
- The North-South Corridor Road/Rail Project championed by President Cyril Rhamaphosa of South Africa;
- The Kinshasa-Brazzaville Bridge Road/Rail Project championed by President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Congo Republic;
- The Unblocking Political Bottlenecks for ICT Broadband and Optic Fibre Projects Linking Neighbouring States and the SMART Africa Project championed by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda;
- Construction of the Navigational Line between Lake Victoria and the Mediterranean Sea championed by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt;
- The Lamu Port Southern Sudan and Ethiopian Transport Project (LAPSSET) championed by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya; and
- The International Logistics Hub Project Championed by President Hage Geingob of Namibia.
Hon Munya informed the participants that the Lamu Port South Sudan and Ethiopian Transport (LAPSSET) project was on course and that major milestones have been achieved. The three berths being constructed by the Government of Kenya at the Lamu Port were now 48% complete. The CS further said that LAPSSET is just not for the three countries (Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan) but it is a continental project by all standards, as it feeds into existing transport and trade corridors such as the great North Corridor from Cape Town to Cairo (Trans-Africa Highway No:4).
In his remarks made on his behalf by NEPAD Kenya Acting CEO Mr Daniel Osiemo, Dr Julius Muia, PS State Department of Planning, reiterated the importance of cross-border infrastructure for unlocking development potential. The PS further said that PICI is playing an important role of accelerating regional infrastructure development and commended NEPAD Agency for its great work and commitment towards Africa’s integration.
Source: NEPAD Kenya
African Union – European Union (AU-EU) and their partners gathered for the 6th Reference Group on Infrastructure meeting to discuss the infrastructure agenda of the AU-EU Partnership in Addis Ababa on May 17-18, 2018. The partners of the meeting recognised that the AU-EU Partnership plays a very essential role in steering the AU-EU cross-sectoral infrastructure agenda and also stressed the importance of the Abidjan Action Plan 2018-2020 as strategic roadmap and framework of cooperation for that period.
The partners emphasized the importance of intra-African trade and support the advancing of greater economic integration by further developing sustainable connectivity especially building on the Programme for Infrastructure Development for Africa – Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa and NEPAD programmes.
The AU and EU expressed joined commitments to guide and support the preparation of a new medium term PIDA strategic foundation for the period 2020-2030, inter alia the PIDA Priority Action Plan II and other supporting PIDA instruments, that build on the lessons learnt of ongoing programmes established through the PIDA PAP I Mid Term Review. Read More
The African Union Commission is organizing a series of regional workshops in the continent to prepare and deliver the next phase of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) Priority Action Plan (PAP) for 2020-2030.
The Arab and the Maghreb Union (AMU/UMA) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) were the first of the eight Regional Economic Communities to kick-start a continental consultative process from 8 to 10 May in Tunis, Tunisia to work together on a 60-question face-to-face consultation in a bid to assess the progress achieved so far in PIDA and highlight the strengths and success stories as well as the weaknesses of the processes and instruments put in place for achieving the 2020 targets set in the PIDA-PAP.
Delivering his opening remarks, the Secretary-General of the Arab Maghreb Union, Dr. Taieb Baccouche referred to the fundamental role of Regional Economic Organizations in the continent to ensure the success of economic integration, infrastructure development and coordination of development policies and programmes, namely PIDA.
“At the Maghreb level,” the Secretary-General stated, “member States of the Arab Maghreb Union had made enormous investments in infrastructure over the past few years.”
The Secretary-General concluded by urging all stakeholders to contribute effectively to this consultative process to play key roles and provide inputs towards the development of the second phase PIDA-PAP in order to ensure a common framework for the region to build the infrastructure necessary to create new jobs, increase intra-African trade and thus boost socio-economic development on the continent.
On his part, the Director for Economic Cooperation at the IGAD, Mr. Elsadig Abdalla stated the IGAD member states have invested heavily, estimated at US$ 7 billion, in infrastructure linking the capitals of the region, including railway lines, power lines and roads. He confirmed IGAD’s support and full involvement in the formulation of the next phase of PIDA.
Speaking on behalf of the African Union Commission, Mr. Yagouba Traoré, PIDA Data Analyst, explained that AU member States have been concentrating on ensuring the delivery of the short-term priorities and objectives of PIDA referred to as the PIDA Priority Action Plans (PIDA PAP), which comprises 51 programmes and projects.
“Due to strong political advocacy and sensitization work of the AUC and NEPAD, 34 programmes are now included in national development plans of 42 AU Member States,” Mr. Traoré noted. He explained that this reinforced political commitment is a key reason for the improvement in implementation of the first phase of PIDA-PAP. Mr. Traoré made reference to the key deliverables that include the PIDA Mid-Term Review and the development of the second Phase of the PIDA Priority Action Plan, which is imminent.
He went on to say that one crucial lesson learnt for the development process of the next phase of PIDA-PAP is to closely engage not only with the RECs, but also with AU Member States in order to ensure ownership of the strategic framework and the selected priority projects.
Mr. Traoré explained that, as the first in a series of consultations, the Tunis meeting was to “set the tone and pace”. “We look forward to the fruitful discussions with such a diverse list of participants, both in terms of geography and areas of expertise,” Mr. Traoré concluded.
Also speaking during the opening session on behalf of the NEPAD Agency, Mr. George Murumba, Monitoring and Evaluation Expert, stated that the meeting will yield project data that will update where the UMA and IGAD regions are with regards to PIDA, and lay the ground for the PIDA Mid-Term Review.
“But most importantly,” Mr. Murumba uttered, “the meeting will make necessary formative thoughts and recommendations on the process and selection criteria that will be integrated in the development of the next phase of the PIDA PAP 2020 and beyond on how to select national and regional priority projects that are aligned and can be sustained.”
He concluded by stating that this meeting marks the early steps of the process of developing the next phase of the PIDA PAP strategic framework. “Through the usual joint stewardship, we hope that we can use what we have learned to get the PIDA programme to be a success,” Mr. Murumba opined.
The overall objective of the workshop was to continue to engage the Regional Economic Communities in PIDA, to exchange national experiences at the regional level, and input was sought from workshop participants in a form of a questionnaire on the next phase of PIDA.
The Consultation is a three-day meeting full of reports, presentations, discussions on a questionnaire that brought together more than 30 representatives of the Arab and the Maghreb Union (AMU/UMA) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), national stakeholders from Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania, South Sudan, Uganda and Libya and experts from the African Union Commission and the NEPAD Agency.
The consultation in Tunis is expected to be followed by consultations in Nairobi, South Africa, Tanzania and Ghana ahead of a continental presentation on the results in October 2018.
Africa’s vision for transformation, Agenda 2063 calls for an integrated continent, politically united, based on the ideals of Pan Africanism and the vision of Africa’s renaissance. To achieve this goal, there is ardent need to step up infrastructure development on the continent.
President of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu with Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of the NEPAD Agency
The Single African Air Transport Market is the first African Union Agenda 2063 flagship project, which aims to create a single unified air transport market in Africa, to liberalise civil aviation on the continent and to advance Africa’s economic integration agenda. This will enhance the movement of people, goods and services, thus promoting trade facilitation.
To this end, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of the NEPAD Agency, held a meeting with the President of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu in Montréal, Canada, where a memorandum was understanding was signed on 8 May. This will see the two organisations work together towards aviation infrastructure development in Africa.
“Aviation projects will be part of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) 2020-2030 action plan,” Dr Mayaki stated. He also called upon ICAO to play a prominent role in the selection of potential projects that can be prepared as PIDA projects in the requisite action plan.
NEPAD Agency and ICAO areas of collaboration will include the facilitation of funding and financing for aviation infrastructure development in Africa; implementation of NEPAD Agency’s MoveAfrica initiative for the aviation sector; development of aviation professionals with gender equity in Africa, and; e-commerce development in Africa.
The parties agreed that closer cooperation between the institutions can help mainstream the priorities of the aviation sector into the integrated transport system planning and development efforts in Africa, which will ultimately contribute to the overall sustainable development of air transport on the continent.