“The NEPAD Agency Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Programme remains crucial for the Continent as over 58 % of Agenda 2063’s First 10 years’ implementation plan is aligned to regional infrastructure and trade,” said Symerre Grey-Johnson, who was speaking on behalf of the NEPAD Agency CEO, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki.

As Head of the NEPAD Agency Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Programme, Mr Grey-Johnson was addressing representatives from Regional Economic Communities, African Union Commission, UN organs, development partners and the NEPAD Agency team during the annual planning meeting of the Programme.

This annual meeting is convened to discuss priority actions to implement regional integration and infrastructure programmes for 2018 and beyond. During the meeting, various stakeholders involved in the implementation of infrastructure projects under the Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Programme take stock of the progress made in the implementation of the projects, discuss work-plans for the current year and also come up with new proposals for accelerated implementation of Infrastructure development in Africa.

The participants also reflected on the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa Priority Action Plan (PIDA PAP), its achievements, challenges and ways in which the RECs, NEPAD Agency and the African Union Commission can work together for better results within PIDA PAP.

Setting the scene for the upcoming years, Symerre Grey-Johnson highlighted that NEPAD will focus on the advancement and strengthening of Africa’s Energy Transmission Network, and work centred around the realisation of the recently launched Single African Air Transport Market.

“Thirdly, the NEPAD Agency will work closely with development partners to advance trans-boundary water projects and improve sanitation continent wide,” he said.

Representing AfDB, Mr Mamadi Souare, saluted the NEPAD’s effort in building synergies among all stakeholders for speedy implementation of PIDA PAP.

“We are glad to see that the NEPAD Agency is effectively playing its planning and coordination role,” he said.

The European Commission also expressed their commitment in their cooperation with the NEPAD Agency, specifically through the newly designed EU External Investment Plan, a tool developed to encourage investment in EU partner countries in Africa in order to strengthen partnerships and contribute to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The meeting concluded with the production of a 2018 work plan for the Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Programme, regional economic communities and the AUC Department of Infrastructure and Energy. The 2018 activities will also include projects focused on the North Africa Transmission Corridor in Maghreb, the North South Corridors in Southern Africa, the East Africa Multimodal Corridor, the Dakar-Abidjan-Lagos Development Corridor, the Trans-African High Way in Central Africa as well as the Grand Inga Dam Project.

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