The African Union Commission and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency today convened partners in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to rally support for the next phase of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), which is currently under formulation.

In his remarks, the Director for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission, Mr. Cheikh Bedda stated that the Coordination Meeting is happening at a strategic time in the life of PIDA.

“The implementation of the first phase, running from 2012 to 2020, has almost reached its end, engagement is well underway in the implementation of PIDA, and negotiations are ongoing for the next phase of PIDA-PAP. By bringing together all these partners, the coordination meeting provides a unique opportunity to promote collaboration and coordination on the second phase of PIDA-PAP (2020-2030),” the Director explained.

Mr. Bedda concluded his remarks by thanking GiZ and the European Union for their continued support to the first phase of PIDA and their pledges in the formulation and eventual implementation of the second phase of PIDA PAP.

On his part, Mr. Symerre Grey-Johnson, Head of Regional Integration Infrastructure and Trade at the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency stated “this gathering is laying the groundwork for a new era of collaboration of working together that will propel us towards our common goal for PIDA.”

Mr. Grey-Johnson gave an overall presentation on PIDA and an outlook on the formulation of the next phase with an invitation to all partners in attendance to involve by listing the opportunities for further engagement on PIDA and with the objective of optimal alignment and coordination between partners.

The event gathered representatives from GiZ, European Union, Chinese Mission to the African Union and the Embassies of the Republic of Indonesia and Korea, representing the Group MIKTA, which is an informal partnership between Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey and Australia.

A number of key themes emerged in the main discussion, covering a wide range of issues including: strengthened involvement of the private sector in infrastructure, formulation of project selection criteria, pre-screening of projects against these criteria, support to the expert pool under the Service Delivery Mechanism (SDM) for early-stage project preparation and support to the optimization of the Continental Business Network (CBN) for an increased private sector engagement.

Partners lauded the AUC and the NEPAD Agency for organizing such an event early in the process of the preparation of the next phase of PIDA and they agreed that going forward there should be an effort to reduce overlaps and duplication of efforts from partners to ensure increased efficiency.

It was also agreed that AUC and NEPAD will organize bilateral meetings with each partner in the coming two months to iron out the work plan and find common areas of cooperation.

This first time gathering of these key partners to PIDA was jointly organized by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA). About 20 delegates were in attendance.

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