Securing Africa’s Water Security through Transboundary Infrastructure Projects

Securing Africa’s Water Security through Transboundary Infrastructure Projects


The NEPAD Agency and Global Water Partnership (GWP) have today signed an MoU to accelerate the implementation of priority continental water infrastructure projects within the framework of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and the Africa Investment Programme (AIP).

The MoU was signed on the margins of PIDA Week, an annual event organized by the African union, NEPAD Agency and the AfDB, jointly with other strategic partners. The event brings together, on an annual basis, various stakeholders involved in Africa’s Infrastructure Development.

The collaboration will contribute to Africa’s transboundary water investments, development, and the NEPAD Agency mandate in particular through the implementation of the PIDA water transboundary projects. Transboundary Water project owners must engage our two institutions and facilitate the successful implementation of this MOU through their full engagement in the delivery of the regional integrated agenda tasked on us all by the Africa Union and our member states” said the NEPAD Agency CEO, Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki during the signing ceremony.

According to  AfDB[1] , by 2030, the African population will reach 1.6 billion. To meet the needs of the continent, Africa will need to produce at least 50% more food; and at least a tenfold increase in water needs for energy production to support modernisation of economies and social progress. Rapid urbanisation and industrialisation will increase water demand, increase environmental degradation and pollution of water bodies. Urgent measures and leadership is required to address impacts of climate change on water availability, to scale up water investments, protect and better manage Africa’s freshwater resources and avert the growing risks and uncertainties to economic productivity and political stability.

 “Through the Africa Water Investment Programme (AIP), GWP will mobilise its partners and foster innovative partnerships between the public and private sector to accelerate project preparation of water investments, ensure that these processes are sustainable through good water governance building on the foundation of integrated water resources management. Our joint partnership with NEPAD Agency will support analytical studies and interventions to accelerate preparation of bankable transboundary PIDA water projects that will stimulate job creation, industrialization and achievement of SDGs”, said Dr. Kuiri F Tjipangandjara, Chair of GWPSA and African Coordination unit.

The partnership between the two agencies will support project preparation, transaction management, resource mobilization, advocacy, capacity development, research and knowledge sharing in the joint implementation of transboundary water projects through a nexus approach.

Media Contacts:

Millicent Kgeledi, NEPAD Agency Communications: millicents@nepad.org

Leticia Ngorima, GWPSA Communications:  leticia.ngorima@gwpsaf.org

Promoting Employment and Decent Work in Africa

Promoting Employment and Decent Work in Africa

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)  Agency, a technical agency of the African Union and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) a specialized agency of the United Nations, have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)  with the objective of promoting decent jobs  for all the economic sectors for people of Africa.

The MoU was signed on the margins of Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) Week, an annual event organized by the African Union Commission, NEPAD Agency and the African Development Bank, which brings together infrastructure stakeholders working on infrastructure projects under the continental framework of the PIDA.

Speaking during the signing ceremony Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of the NEPAD Agency welcomed the MoU as an important step that would serve to bring together the collective convening power of the two institutions to ensure that Africa’s citizens are afforded opportunities for decent work.

“The partnership between the ILO and the NEPAD Agency responds to both Agenda 2063 and the SDGs including the aspect of strengthening the means of implementation through global partnerships aimed at sustainable development.  We have embarked on several initiatives to address the challenges of providing decent work and employment and we welcome the partnership with ILO which will help to strengthen our efforts.  We look forward to a fruitful partnership and to implementing joint initiatives that will contribute to regional integration, continental and global aspirations” ,he said.

Dr Joni Musabayana, ILO Director for the Decent Work Team in Pretoria described this MoU as “a major step for the ILO to better mainstream the Decent Work Agenda in Africa through the infrastructure project that can be used proactively to go beyond the reduction of infrastructure gaps and also support employment creation and social protection for local populations, with a specific focus on the most vulnerable ones”.

Through their collaboration, ILO and the NEPAD Agency will focus on the development, application or customization of relevant tools, capacity building and research towards knowledge products and research targeting several areas of mutual interest with a gender sensitive approach, including, but not limited to infrastructure, agriculture, innovation, youth entrepreneurship and skills development, occupational safety and health, green jobs and employment intensive approaches  for the benefit of people of Africa.  Special targeted programmes for the most vulnerable groups such as people living with HIV and AIDS and people with disabilities, among others, will be deployed.

Media Contacts:

NEPAD:                Millicent Kgeledi |NEPAD Communications Unit| Millicents@nepad.org

ILO:                       Ms. Maria Mutandwa, Communications Officer mutandwa@ilo.org; Tel.: +263772129210-3

Media Put to Task as 2018 PIDA Week Kicks off

Media Put to Task as 2018 PIDA Week Kicks off

The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) Week 2018 opened in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe on Monday with a united call from panelists for the media to project Africa’s image positively during a media breakfast that brought together PIDA network of journalists, local and global media fraternity, infrastructure policymakers, development partners and private sector to discuss among other issues,  Africa’s infrastructure deficit and how that can be reduced to ensure inclusive development on the continent.

The African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, said that Africa is making a lot of progress in terms of infrastructure development. She implored the media to highlight the continent’s success stories in that regards.

“African leaders are fully committed to the development of transboundary infrastructure projects on the continent which will make a huge difference in terms of regional integration, job creation and related issues so let us talk about the positive things that are happening on our continent so we can continue to build on that as we push for inclusive growth in Africa,” Dr. Abou-Zeid said.

Echoing the same sentiments on the role of the media in advocating PIDA success stories, the NEPAD Agency CEO, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki urged the media to advocate on transboundary infrastructure projects such as Kazungula Bridge on the border of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana, to remind Africa and the world that Africa is indeed rising.

He indicated that the role of PIDA in contributing to the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) cannot be over-stated and necessitates an integrated approach to infrastructure development on the continent.

To date, 49 member States have signed the AfCFTA since it was unveiled at an African Union Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, in March. Twelve have now ratified the agreement, which needs 22 ratifications by March next year to go into force.

“These countries together could create a huge market with a combined population of more than one billion people and a combined gross domestic product of more than US $3.4 trillion and the role of PIDA in contributing to the success of the AfCTA cannot be over-stated,” said Dr Mayaki.

“As regional integration arrangements deepen and intra-African trade increases, we need to focus on improved trans-continental highways in terms of road and rail networks. Deepening of financial markets and increased cross-border financial flows, including money transfer will require us to make additional investments in ICT and digitalisation while growing industrialization and agro-industries will require more reliable and affordable power supply across the energy mix.” he said.

The Media Breakfast session also brought together other key PIDA stakeholders, namely the African Development Bank (AfDB), GiZ and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).

GIZ African Union Office Director, Ms. Inge Baumgarten said Africa has so much untapped potential that can be harnessed through massive infrastructure development.

“If the Asian tigers could make it then the African Lions can also take a giant leap forward and do it as well. It is not impossible,” said Ms. Baumgarten, adding much has been achieved in infrastructure development through GIZ partnership with the African Union and its partners on the continent.

Development Bank of Southern African (DBSA) Group Executive, Mohan Vivekanandan said “as a development finance institution (DFI) the DBSA works closely with other DFIs across the continent to achieve national and regional infrastructure priorities in Africa. The DBSA is currently preparing a number of PIDA linked projects in both the energy and transport sectors.” in line with this year’s theme Realising Africa’s integration through Smart Infrastructure and Good Governance.

Mr. Hubert Danso, the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Africa Investor (Ai), said Africa is leading the way in terms of mobilizing financing, including from pension funds, to be able to invest in infrastructure development on the continent.

He praised the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) for the work is doing under PIDA as a partner to the African Union Commission, Nepad and the African Development Bank in pushing the continent to close the infrastructure gap in Africa.

“The ECA has very specific and specialized expertise and is helping a lot in underpinning the institutional framework of all this. We are the mobilizers of the capital while the African Union provides the political capital that’s essential to be able to give the comfort that the policies and the frameworks will be adhered to during the life style of the projects,” said Mr. Danso.

Ms. Moono Mupotola, the Infrastructure Director at the African Development Bank said the bank will continue to support transboundary infrastructure development on the continent.

The Media Breakfast is a platform that seeks to raise the profile of infrastructure development in the African media landscape, increase the volume and quality of positive news on the role and impact of PIDA in infrastructure development on the continent.

The 2018 PIDA Week is being held under the theme; PIDA Implementation through Good Governance – Realizing Smart Infrastructure for Africa’s Integration.

The Media Breakfast, which gathered more than 100 targeted participants, was co-organized by the African Union Commission (AUC), NEPAD Agency, AfDB and the ECA.

Let us make Africa’s Infrastructure Competitive, Zimbabwean Minister Urges Continent at PIDA Week

Let us make Africa’s Infrastructure Competitive, Zimbabwean Minister Urges Continent at PIDA Week

Africa needs to unite and work hard to reverse colonial infrastructure systems which promoted the extraction of profitable agricultural and mineral wealth for export at the expense of local communities and the continent,” Zimbabwe’s Transport and Infrastructural Development and Transport Minister, Joel Biggie Matiza said Monday.

Speaking during the opening session of the 2018 PIDA Week in Victoria Falls, Mr. Matiza said for Africa to fully develop and integrate, there was need for the continent to focus on infrastructure development, in particular transboundary projects, to ensure it was competitive enough to make a difference.

Historically African countries inherited underdeveloped infrastructure geared towards exports-imports transportation rather than focusing on transforming and improving local production capacity as well as promoting intra-Africa trade. This is reason for us to reverse this legacy and as a continent we have crafted a new trajectory through PIDA, a turning point we should follow to ensure we transform the current state of affairs,” he said.

Mr. Matiza hailed PIDA for its efforts in trying to bridge Africa’s infrastructure deficit. He said PIDA Week offered a valuable opportunity for policymakers, project developers, private sector, civil society, and academia to exchange views and proffer solutions towards the implementation of regional infrastructure projects on the continent.

“PIDA is such a vital initiative, not only to catalyse intra-African trade but perhaps more important to provide a wider platform to encourage investment” he said.

For his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the NEPAD Agency, Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki , said Africa needs to accelerate the development of transboundary infrastructure projects if it is to fully integrate. He said a lot of progress has been made since African leaders adopted PIDA in 2012.

“We recognise that optimal solutions for continental problems lie in Regional Integration. We are getting there progressively, but we need to accelerate implementation if we want regional integration. It’s not a question of lack of financial resources, it is a question of lack of bankable projects and sound rules. So we need to do our homework,” said Dr  Mayaki, adding that local, national and regional governance was key to the success Africa seeks in closing its infrastructure deficit.

The African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid said the current low levels of infrastructure on the continent posed one of the biggest challenges to Africa’s industrialization and development agenda, which is having a negative impact on Africa’s competitiveness and participation in the global markets.

According to the World Bank, the poor state of infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa in respect of its electricity, water, roads and ICT, reduces national economic growth by 2 percent annually and reduces productivity by as much as 40 percent.

“Meeting Africa’s infrastructure needs and developing cost-effective infrastructure services requires significant investments,” the Commissioner said, adding the continent should turn its challenges in infrastructure development into an opportunity.

The financing gap in Africa for infrastructure development is estimated at between US$130 -170 billion per year.

“Despite encouraging investments on infrastructure, both at the domestic and international levels, which averages about US$75 billion per year, there is a need for significant increase in infrastructure investments on the continent,” Dr. Abou-Zeid added.

She added: “There have been remarkable achievements within a short period of time considering the many barriers that exist within the continent. However, the scale of the challenge in infrastructure development on the continent calls for more accelerated implementation and innovative approaches to meet-up with the increasing demand for infrastructure services.”

For his part African Union’s High Representative for Infrastructure Development, Honorable Raila Amollo Odinga, said Africa needs to move away from the conference and feasibility study syndrome and move to implement agreed projects if it is to successfully integrate and achieve sustainable development and change the lives of its citizens for the better.

“Transformational decisions have to be taken if we are to move ahead. Africa must deal with political bottlenecks that hamper its development or we shall never compete,” said Mr. Odinga. “We must also overcome the habitual of feasibility study after feasibility study without implementing. We must change.”

Ms. Carla Montesi, European Commission’s Director for Planet and Prosperity and a representative of COMESA Secretary General, Ms. Chileshe Kapwepwe, also spoke in the opening session in support of Africa’s desire to invest in infrastructural development that will support Africa’s growth.

Ms. Montesi said the EU will continue to support Africa in its quest for an integrated infrastructure that generates jobs for the youth; helps reduce poverty; and supports regional integration.

Mr. Xiao Weiming, Director-General of the Belt and Road Unit, National Development and Reform Commission, the People’s Republic of China, said his country will continue to work with African nations to help build their infrastructure capacity.

He said China will continue to enhance cooperation with Africa through infrastructure development, adding PIDA was a transformative initiative that will change the face of Africa if fully and successfully implemented.

The 4th PIDA Week is being held under the theme; Realizing Africa’s Integration through Smart Infrastructure and Good Governance, and it intends to build on the relative achievements and the momentum created in the previous three events to continue to engage stakeholders on the effective delivery of infrastructure on the continent.

The event welcomed more than 400 participants brought together an impressive line-up of top-level government representatives, influential industry leaders, private sector, leading thinkers from international institutions, government, academia, business and finance.

It aims to provide a platform for stakeholders to engage in accelerating and synergizing their efforts to accelerate projects preparation and implementation; mobilize adequate financial and technical resources for projects; increase private sector participation in PIDA implementation; and mobilize Member States to integrate the PIDA projects into their national development plans.

Journalists Visit the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Courtesy of the AUC

Journalists Visit the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Courtesy of the AUC

The African Union Commission took journalists from across the continent on a tour of the largest hydropower project in Africa, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) today.

The GERD, which is one of the projects under the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), is at an advanced stage with an installed capacity of 6,000 MW. Construction of the Dam started in April 2011 and is currently employing 12,000 jobs.

The visit to the Dam was preceded by a third media workshop held on 5 and 6 November 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to hone the skills of 24 journalists to effectively cover the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).

PIDA Journalists Network visiting the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

“During the two days, the overall assessment of journalists was that all were ready and willing to give off their best in writing / reporting about PIDA Projects,” said Mr. Yagouba Traoré, Head of Information Unit in the Department of Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission.

Mr. Traoré affirmed that from the questions asked, it was clear that many write about PIDA but struggled to adapt to new media, get content (data in particular) and leveraging on social media.

The workshop brought together 24 media practitioners from across Africa. The journalists were exposed to the workings of PIDA, how to analyze the impact of its work, and where to find the right data and information for news and features stories.

The low internet penetration levels were mentioned as one of the growth inhibitors as many said it is, at times, out of reach or not reliable especially while on PIDA site visits. The interest by journalists to participate in PIDA also showed that many had the quest for knowledge in personal improvement, particularly in infrastructure. This interest, honed can be a great asset for stakeholders to not only add on media exposure but also boost content for PIDA’s Virtual site (http://www.au-pida.org) which is a resource tool kit for a great international audience.

It was concluded that the PIDA Journalists’ network has the potential to be elevated to be one of Africa’s media database of professionals who can be equipped with knowledge and skills on business reporting in Africa. The interest drawn from this training is a testament that there is great potential in this with the help of PIDA stakeholders.

The event is part of the PIDA Capacity Building Project (CAP) supported by the African Development Bank and whose main objective is to strengthen the capacity of the African Union Commission, the NEPAD Agency and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) for planning, facilitation and coordination of implementation of regional infrastructure programmes and projects necessary for enhancing Africa’s physical and economic integration and socio economic development.

The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) is an African Union Commission (AUC) initiative, in partnership with the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) the African Development Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. There are 51 programmes and projects divided into 433 projects covering various sectors including transport, energy, information and communication technology (ICT) and trans-boundary water sectors.