The NEPAD Agency’s Regional Integration Infrastructure and Trade Programme (RIITP) convened a joint planning meeting in the last week of August. The meeting brough together stakeholders from Regional Economic Communities and partners including AfDB, GIZ, NEPAD IPPF, UNECA, JICA, DBSA, and the NEPAD Business Foundation (NBF).

This was the second planning meeting convened by RIITP this year and was organised to take stock of project implementation and agree on approaches to streamline implementation for the remainder of 2017.

Participants at the Joint Planning Session

The meeting also provided an opportunity to think ahead to plans for 2018 and to exchange ideas with funding and implementing partners.

Speaking during the opening of the meeting, Mr. Symerre Grey-Johnson, Head of RIITP thanked the RECs for their commitment to implementation of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).

“This is an opportune time for us to be having this meeting since in 2018 we will embark on a new phase of the PIDA Capacity Building Programme (PIDA CAP). GIZ support to PIDA will be renewed with new areas of focus, we will build on our relationship with JICA for infrastructure support and we will develop new partnerships in line with the EU Compact for Africa. We should thus take the time to reflect on our delivery and priorities for the remainder of 2017 and new programming starting in 2018”, he said.

In the margins of the meeting, a partners roundtable was held in which the key elements of the adjusted 2017 work-plan were presented.

Representing the AfDB, Mr. Mtchera Chirwa commended the NEPAD Agency for the significant progress that had been attained in advancing implementation of several PIDA projects and reaffirmed the Bank’s continued commitment. He urged the team to ensure that PIDA CAP attained its targets for phase 1 so as to pave the way for further support for the next phase.

Phase 1 of PIDA CAP focused on strengthening the institutional capacity for PIDA implementation and enabled recruitment of infrastructure experts the majority of whom were deployed by the NEPAD Agency in the Regional Economic Communities.

Ms. Anna Waldman from GIZ remarked that the planning meeting was an important aspect of highlighting critical success factors for PIDA implementation and gave an overview of indicative focus areas that would be considered for support in the 2018-2021 GIZ PIDA support.

Remarks were also made by the representative from UNECA Mr. Yinka Adeyemi, from JICA and from the NEPAD Business Foundation.

The meeting ended with gender sensitisation sessions which touched on issues of how to ensure that infrastructure development was inclusive and paid attention to particular aspects of women’s participation as beneficiaries and implementers.

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