Lack of capacity continues to be a key impediment to PIDA’s implementation. The AUC, NEPAD Agency, AfDB and its partners have therefore implemented interventions to address the lack of capacity in key areas through skills development and placement of technical experts at the RECs.
The PIDA Capacity Building Project
The PIDA CAP was conceived to develop the capacities of the RECs and member states to effectively navigate the myriad of issues impeding the successful implementation of PIDA. They require timely guidance and support on a coordinated basis to ensure that individual RECs and collectively accelerate the implementation of the PIDA PAP projects.
The programme strengthens the capacity of the AUC, NEPAD Agency and RECs to plan, facilitate and co-ordinate implementation of regional infrastructure programmes and projects.
It will also support delivery of an integrated communication framework and policy analysis of cross-cutting issues for PIDA by the AUC. This will enhance the capacity of RECs and RMCs to diagnose and monitor PIDA implementation bottlenecks and introduce solutions.
PIDA CAP Project Progress
PIDA CAP has gained momentum in its implementation after a slow inception. Financing agreements were signed with the EAC, COMESA, CCTTFA, ECOWAS, the IGAD and SADC with a commitment to a steady use of funds. An AfDB approved work plan is being implemented in COMESA, ECOWAS, EAC, IGAD and SADC, as well as the CCTTFA. The plan and budgets are managed using the NEPAD Agency’s enterprise resource planning software.
Infrastructure sector experts are now in place at the NEPAD Agency, as well as at the COMESA, EAC, ECOWAS, IGAD, CCTTFA, ECCAS and SADC. This is part of the capacity building strategy in the RECs. The NEPAD Agency has also introduced an M&E officer, as well as a programme assistant and finance and procurement officers to its PIDA core team.
PIDA Capacity Building Project Suppor t to PIDA Acceleration
PIDA Acceleration is a short-term partnership between public and private stakeholders to create an enabling private-investment environment for bankability of PIDA projects. The acceleration method and screening process is consistent with private sector and business principles to accelerate implementation of key PIDA projects as pilots.
The WEF initiated PIDA acceleration process was handed over to the NEPAD Agency for co-ordination, and to guide the replication of the remaining pilot corridors, namely BDC, NSC and West Africa. The process is mainly supported by the PIDA CAP.
The PIDA Acceleration process generates a validated project pipeline, which needs to be screened, grouped or prioritised and packaged for market review and investment. A packaged project pipeline constitutes a short- to medium-term CDIP. It was designed to accelerate the development of selected, high-impact corridors. They include the CC, BDC and NSC, as well as the West Africa Hub Port and Rail Program, including the Praia-Dakar-Abidjan- Lagos Multimodal Corridor.
Overall PIDA CAP Project Outcomes
Despite delays in inception, PIDA CAP has gained traction and some high-level outcomes are evident. These include:
- improved capacity at the RECs, following placement of sector experts at the NEPAD Agency, COMESA, EAC, ECOWAS, IGAD, ECCAS, CCTTFA and SADC to develop their capacities and support PIDA implementation;
- a notable increase in co-operation between REC secretariats, as well as the AUC and NEPAD Agency in the implementation of the PIDA PAP Project components through collaborative activities; and
- a significant improvement in the knowledge of PIDA projects at REC and country level due to ongoing capacity- building initiatives and workshops.