NEPAD Agency and COMESA officials earlier this week once again highlighted the two institutions’ commitment to the implementation of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).
The main objective of the meeting was to discuss ways in which joint work (between NEPAD Agency and COMESA) on PIDA implementation can be improved. The discussions were also focused on the current PIDA Capacity building project and the second envisioned phase thereof, titled PIDA CAP 2.
Mr Sindiso Ngwenya, Secretary General of COMESA’s representative indicated in his remarks that COMESA appreciated the support provided by NEPAD, through the capacity building programme. “It was through the PIDA CAP programme that has seen COMESA advance the Zambia – Tanzania – Kenya Power interconnector, the Feasibility Studies on the North South Corridor, which have been packaged to bankability as well a human resource component through the PIDA CAP Expert resident at COMESA Secretariat,” he stated.
The Secretary General’s representative went on to request more support from NEPAD in terms of financing of PIDA PAP projects such as the VICMED, ZTK Capacity building, Surface transport, Air transport, Water Transport as well as the Energy sector.
COMESA supports the NEPAD Agency in the implementation of PIDA. Its’ commitment aids in addressing the infrastructure deficit in the African continent and provides the programme with necessary tools to attain tangible results.
It is in this regard that PIDA experts are seconded by the NEPAD Agency to the Regional Economic Communities, in this case, COMESA. This partnership serves as a testimony for other RECs that regional intervention in continental projects leads to accelerated project implementation.
Mr Symerre Grey-Johnson, Head of Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Programme, highlighted on behalf of the NEPAD Agency CEO, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki that the partnership between the two institutions has been invaluable in the execution of PIDA projects. COMESA is currently hosting the ZTK Financiers Conference and the Detail Design Review Meeting, both in Livingston, Zambia- both of which are PIDA projects related.
The topics discussed included the areas of mutual cooperation and inputs into PIDA CAP 2 development, progress reporting in the implementation of the Annual Approved Work plan for 2017, regarding ZTK, the Lilongwe-Lusaka Fibre Connection, and North South Corridor Project Preparation Studies.
Issues of Financial obligations and reporting, including annual audits, quarterly financial reports, and other documentation related to the monitoring of financial operations we also discussed.
The NEPAD Chief Executive Officer has also invited COMESA Secretary General to the 2017 PIDA Week, which will be hosted in Namibia from December 10th to 14th. PIDA Week is a key event that provides a marketing platform for PIDA projects, creates synergies between the different implementation institutions, partners and stakeholders, and enhances PIDA as a brand and framework for regional infrastructure development. This will be the first time that PIDA Week is hosted at the REC level and in close proximity to projects that are being implemented.
The Aide-Memoire of the meeting was signed on Tuesday morning prior to the NEPAD and COMESA teams departing on a site visit and road trip along the Zambia section of the North-South Corridor- another PIDA project. On Wednesday Mr. Grey-Johnson will represent the NEPAD CEO and lead the NEPAD delegation to the Zambia-Kenya-Tanzania Transmission Power Interconnect Financiers Conference in Livingstone. He will deliver a statement on behalf of the NEPAD CEO, it will be recalled that NEPAD as a co-organiser has been working tirelessly toward the holding of the ZTK Financiers Conference. The ZTK project will interconnect the Southern Africa and Eastern Africa regions through the Southern Africa Power Pool and the Eastern Africa Power Pool.