One of the outcomes of the 3rd Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) Week was for the NEPAD Agency to lead on accelerating PIDA projects, with specific emphasis on the PIDA sectors of power transmission, aviation and water. The limited progress reported on moving PIDA water projects from conception to implementation was in part attributed to challenges in developing investment cases to attract the required resources.
Capitalising on the momentum of the United Nations High Level Panel on Water, NEPAD Agency in collaboration with the AUC, the Global Water Partnership (GWP), and the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) – has formulated the PIDA Water support initiative Project (2019-2024) to accelerate the preparation and financing of transboundary water projects and foster a water-food-energy nexus approach in the development of the hydropower projects.
The ambition is to leverage at least US $10 billion in investments that will contribute to the greater goal of assuring water security; triggering industrialisation; creating jobs; and, in turn, stimulating transformative economic growth. It is in this regard that on 12 July 2018, the NEPAD Agency Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Programme team convened a meeting on the NEPAD Agency-PIDA Transboundary Water Project jointly with GWP and AMCOW.
Speaking on behalf of the NEPAD Agency CEO, Mr Symerre Grey-Johnson, Head of RIITP at the NEPAD Agency said that water and aviation sectors were not prioritised during PIDA Phase 1. This was well noted during the 3rd PIDA Week and thus the need to address this during PIDA Phase 2.
The meeting held in Gaborone, Botswana brought together various Infrastructure experts from the RECs and PIDA Transboundary project owners to deliberate on the implementation of the partnership between NEPAD Agency, GWP and AMCOW, which aims to support the acceleration of project preparation and financing of the PIDA Water Priority Transboundary and Hydropower Projects.
Mr Phera Ramoeli representing the SADC Infrastructure Director, Ms Mapolao Mokoena, also echoed his sentiments, highlighted that SADC welcomes the PIDA Water initiative as part of implementing SADC’s development and industrialisation agenda, and is ready to work with the PIDA Water project.
Dr Canisius Kanangire, Executive Secretary of AMCOW emphasised the need to coordinate efforts and strengthen partnerships to implementing the new AMCOW Strategy towards achieving the Africa Water Vision 2025, Agenda 2063 and AfDB’s High 5 priorities.
Mr Alex Simalabwi the Executive Secretary of GWPSA and Head GWP Africa Coordination Unit in his presentation said, “The overall objective is to enhance job creation through Gender sensitive investments in water security, industrialisation and climate resilient development.”
During the session, the Regional Economic Communities and PIDA Project Owners were given an opportunity to present on the water projects within the regions, including the challenges faced during implementation and to comment on the PIDA Water support initiative project.
A PIDA Evaluation report on the status of implementation of the water related projects were presented along with a proposed implementation framework which outlined the associated costs of un-bottling the stalled projects. Modalities on the partnership between the projects and PIDA Programme were discussed, this included discussions on resource mobilisation. The meeting was concluded with a site visit to the Gaborone Dam to evaluate the level of progress made to date.
PIDA Water comprises a portfolio of transboundary water and hydropower projects and will be implemented by NEPAD Agency, Regional Economic Communities, River Basin Organisations and executed by GWP in collaboration with other partners. The current projects under the Water-Energy portfolio are: Sambangalou , Ruzizi III , Rusumo Falls III , Polihali Hydropower Dam and Transfer Tunnel to Katse Dam,Mpanda Nkuwa, Kobong Pumped Storage Dam , Kaléta, Inga 3, Grand Ethiopian Renaissance and Batoka Gorge.