Celebrating a Decade of Infrastructure Transformation in Africa: PIDA Pre-Launch Ceremony Unveils Promising Report

Celebrating a Decade of Infrastructure Transformation in Africa: PIDA Pre-Launch Ceremony Unveils Promising Report

The African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) jointly hosted a momentous pre-launch ceremony in Nairobi, signifying ten years of remarkable progress in transforming Africa’s infrastructure landscape.

The event marked the successful completion of the highly anticipated “PIDA First 10-Year Implementation Report” and the visionary “2nd PIDA Priority Action Plan (2021-2030) Projects Prospectus”.

The ceremony, held during the 5th African Union Mid-Year Coordination Meeting, attracted distinguished guests, including H.E. Mrs. Nardos Bekele-Thomas, CEO of AUDA-NEPAD, H.E. Mr. HORIUCHI Toshihiko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Mission of Japan to the African Union and Mr. NAKAMURA Toshiyuki, Special Advisor to JICA President and Former Senior Vice President of JICA. Their presence underscored the significance of this milestone achievement.

H.E. Mrs. Nardos Bekele-Thomas, CEO of AUDA-NEPAD and H.E. Mr. HORIUCHI Toshihiko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Mission of Japan to the African Union Displaying the 10 Year PIDA Report

In her opening remarks, H.E. Mrs. Nardos Bekele-Thomas emphasized the critical role of infrastructure development in stimulating growth, fostering global integration and elevating living standards. She highlighted that supporting Africa’s infrastructure is not only supporting the continent but also the world.

One of the report’s noteworthy findings, as highlighted by H.E. Mr. Toshihiko, was that AU member states emerged as the primary financial contributors. This revelation reaffirms PIDA’s unique standing as an infrastructure policy framework designed by Africa, for Africa.

Mr. Nakamura Toshiyuki, Special Advisor to JICA President, acknowledged PIDA’s alignment with the principles of ownership and corridor development, which JICA has steadfastly supported through the TICAD process. He expressed confidence that the report’s successful completion would act as a catalyst for enhanced resource mobilization for PIDA projects.

PIDA, a strategic continental initiative spearheaded by the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), aims to accelerate infrastructure development across Africa by addressing the continent’s infrastructure deficit and promoting regional integration, economic growth, and sustainable development. Encompassing sectors such as transport, energy, water, and ICT, PIDA fosters economic development, trade, and connectivity. By 2040, PIDA has set ambitious targets, including the implementation of cross-border infrastructure projects to bolster connectivity, trade, and access to reliable and sustainable services. The initiative is also expected to have a significant impact on increased investment in infrastructure projects, improved regional integration, job creation, and sustainable economic growth in African countries.

The official launch of the “PIDA First 10-Year Implementation Report” is scheduled for September, during the 4th Ordinary Session of the African Union Specialized Technical Committee on Transport, Transcontinental and Interregional Infrastructure, and Energy (STC-TTIIE) in Zanzibar, Tanzania. As the journey to drive infrastructure development across Africa continues, the world eagerly awaits the transformative outcomes of PIDA’s decade-long dedication to revolutionizing Africa’s infrastructure landscape.

Statement by Mr. HORIUCHI Toshihiko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Mission of Japan to the African Union

H.E. Mr. HORIUCHI Toshihiko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Mission of Japan to the African Union

On the very important occasion of the pre-launch of 10 Year PIDA Progress Report, firstly I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all AUDA-NEPAD team members who devoted their efforts to this pre-launch. While congratulating on the completion of the report, I would like to introduce the Japanese engagement toward PIDA as well as Japan-Africa Partnership through decades- long Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).

(1) Japan`s Contributions to PIDA

PIDA incorporates two visions advocated by Japan: the concept of Corridor Development and the philosophy of Africa’s ownership in which Japan listens to the voices of Africa. Firstly, the concept of Corridor Development is based on the recognition that promotion of the development of Africa would be difficult without cross-regional analysis. That helps us to find out what the bottlenecks are, for example, in transporting goods from ports through trunk roads to landlocked countries over national borders. Corridor Development is expected to be further promoted toward its completion in 2040. In this context, Japan would like to combine the expertise and resources of both AUDA-NEPAD and JICA, build stronger partnerships, and support infrastructure development across the African continent. Here in Kenya as well, in order to contribute to the realization of PIDA, the Japanese government and JICA helped formulate the Master Plan (M/P) on Logistics in Northern Economic Corridor in 2016. Based on this M/P, multiple projects such as the expansion of Mombasa Port and the construction of future Mombasa Gate Bridge have been underway. The 10-year PIDA Progress Report shows a concrete achievement of the last decade and answers to the current challenges. I would like to point out one of the impressive findings: the question of who is the biggest contributor to the PIDA projects. It is nothing but African countries themselves. This is a strong statement that PIDA is an infrastructure policy framework of Africa, by Africa, and for Africa.

(2) Japan-Africa Partnership through TICAD

The other vision advocated by Japan in PIDA is the basic philosophy of Africa’s ownership that listens to the voices of Africa, which constitutes an imperative philosophy of TICAD. Launched by Japan in 1993, TICAD is one of the oldest and the most inclusive partnership platforms with Africa. TICAD has always shed light on the importance of ownership by Africa and partnership by the international community as an imperative philosophy, and both Japan and Africa have cherished the fruits of TICAD to this day. The Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 8) was held in Tunis on August 27 and 28, 2022, co-organized by the Government of Japan, the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and the African Union Commission (AUC). During TICAD 8, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio expressed the commitment of Japan to stand together with Africa in this critical juncture, exacerbated by global challenges. To fulfill this commitment, Japan announced that it would invest 30 billion USD as the sum of public and private financial contributions over the next three years, with an emphasis on investment in people and the quality of growth. TICAD 9 is scheduled to be held in Japan in 2025. Counting on in our cooperation, it is often said that infrastructure realized by Japan’s cooperation in Africa works for a long time. Based on this brand, Japan will continue to promote the development of Quality Infrastructure that is resilient against disasters by leveraging the advanced technology and know-how that Japanese companies have. Furthermore, at the G7 Hiroshima Summit held in Japan in May 2023, we reaffirmed our shared commitment to “The Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) ” launched by the G7. We also aim to mobilize up to 600 billion US dollars by 2027 together with the G7. In addition, through the Quality Infrastructure Conferences (GIC) held bilaterally with 14 countries since 2015, we will further promote to expand the business in Africa by Japanese companies.

(3) Conclusion

Japan has been utilizing external support generously offered by the international community in its struggle during the post-World War II reconstruction period. Japan was obliged to rebuild from scratch as it was devastated by the war. It was almost rebuilding a nation from the ashes. In addition to the hard works of our parents and grandparents who endeavored for the prosperity of Japan, Japan was also fortunate enough to enjoy the kindness and good will rendered by the international community. For instance, Shinkansen, the Japanese Bullet Train, is one of the fruits of international support for significant transportation infrastructure development that enabled Japan to overcome the challenges it faced. My dream is that one day Africa and Japan can further cooperate and pay it forward together for the sake of future generations! Once again, I would like to deliver congratulatory message on the completion of 10 Year PIDA Progress Report as the culmination of a strong and enduring partnership between AUDA-NEPAD and Japan that focuses on advancing African regional integration and infrastructure development. It is my hope that this report will serve as a signpost for real and positive change.

AUDA-NEPAD and AUC host a meeting with RECs on Africa’s Infrastructure Development

AUDA-NEPAD and AUC host a meeting with RECs on Africa’s Infrastructure Development

Nairobi, Kenya – On the margins of the African Union (AU) Mid-Year Summit, the AU Commission (AUC) and the African Union Development Agency – NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) successfully organized a coordination meeting with Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to discuss the acceleration of infrastructure development and regional integration in Africa.

The meeting, held in Nairobi, Kenya focused on agreeing on joint actions to accelerate the implementation of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).

A cross-section of stakeholders captured during the meeting

Insufficient infrastructure constantly hinders Africa’s economies and the continent’s efforts to fully participate in the global economy. The coordination meeting marked a significant milestone as the first phase of PIDA (PIDA PAP I) completed ten years of implementation and transitioned into the second phase (PIDA PAP II) which is focused on an Integrated Corridor Approach and inclusivity. The second phase features 69 projects selected from all regions of the continent. The aim was to ensure that corridor infrastructure interconnects and complements each other while integrating social and sustainability features into the planning process.

Mr. Idriss Amine Adoum, the Director of Infrastructure, Industrialisation, and Trade at AUDA-NEPAD, highlighted the importance of PIDA in addressing Africa’s infrastructure challenges. He stated thatthrough PIDA, progress has been made in improving connectivity and fostering regional integration. He highlighted that there are however, still obstacles to overcome, such as limited financing and inadequate capacity for project preparation.

This coordination meeting aimed to bring the key players together to explore innovative solutions impactful infrastructure development.“, he said.

Insightful discussions were held during the meeting, focusing on reviewing progress made, achievements and lessons learnt from implementing PIDA projects. Attendees explored innovative financing mechanisms, instruments, and partnerships to mobilize additional resources for infrastructure development. The participants also shared best practices, experiences, and knowledge on infrastructure development and regional integration .

AUDA-NEPAD reported significant progress made, including the presentation of 22 projects to financiers at the Dakar Financing Summit, from which ten projects received strong interest with potential financing opportunities. A roadmap was also developed to guide further actions.

Dr. Kamugisha Kazaura, the Director of Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission, emphasized the importance of coordination, stating, “By strengthening coordination and synergy among AUDA-NEPAD, AUC, RECs and other key players, we can achieve greater efficiency and impact

The meeting represented a vital step towards enhancing infrastructure development, promoting regional integration, and driving Africa’s socio-economic growth. It showcased the commitment of AUC, AUDA-NEPAD, RECs, and other stakeholders to work together, harness resources and overcome challenges for the benefit of the continent.

Looking ahead, participants at the meeting agreed to identify ways to address the challenges impacting the implementation of PIDA projects. Factors such as country-level debt burdens, the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and inflationary pressures that have undoubtedly affected infrastructure development.

To ensure that 2040 targets, it is essential to explore strategies that can accelerate the implementation process- this includes enhancing project preparation, mitigating risks and finding innovative solutions to mobilize funding and resources.

Towards a Harmonised Road Transport Regulatory Framework in Africa: A Continental Workshop for the Harmonisation of Regulatory Frameworks of Road Transport in Africa

Towards a Harmonised Road Transport Regulatory Framework in Africa: A Continental Workshop for the Harmonisation of Regulatory Frameworks of Road Transport in Africa

The Harmonisation of Regulatory Frameworks of Road Transport in Africa is a groundbreaking initiative that seeks to bring together African nations to discuss and implement cohesive and streamlined policies for road transport across the continent.

Study tour to Heidelberg Traffic Control Centre on the Johannesburg-Durban highway which is the busiest section on the regional North South Corridor

Study tour to Heidelberg Traffic Control Centre on the Johannesburg-Durban highway which is the busiest section on the regional North South Corridor.

The workshop held at Birchwood Hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa, aims to foster economic development, improve road safety, and enhance the overall efficiency of road transportation in Africa by harmonizing and standardising regulations and promoting digitalisation in road transport across the continent.

Organised by the African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with the Transport and Transit Facilitation Programme (TTTFP), the meeting was attended by government officials, policymakers, regulators, transport experts, partners and concerned delegates from African Union Member States who came together with shared vision of improving the continent’s road transport sector. Additionally, representatives from Regional Economic Communities (RECs) African Union Commission (AU), AUDA-NEPAD, and European Union (EU) were present, further emphasizing the importance of a coordinated and unified approach to this important issue.

The workshop also included representatives from various transport corridor management organizations, who provided valuable insights into the unique challenges and opportunities associated with specific regional transport corridors in Africa. With joint support from the African Union and the European Union, this workshop highlights ongoing efforts to support infrastructural development and improved transportation systems on the African continent.

By reviewing and assessing the current regulatory frameworks and the gaps between the frameworks, the workshop has facilitated information sharing, study tours, and demonstrations of vehicle load management to identify gaps and areas for improvement. Furthermore, it has highlighted the importance of ICT systems as an integral part of the overall process to improve road transport. ICT introduces efficiency, limits opportunities for corruption and facilitate sharing of information between transport, logistics, and trade entities and operators.

Delegates at the AUC-TTTFP Workshop attentively listening to the discussions

Delegates at the AUC-TTTFP Workshop attentively listening to a presentation

The workshop has also fostered dialogue and cooperation among African countries and relevant institutions to harmonise regulatory frameworks and to develop strategies and action plans to manage this sector across the continent. These collective efforts will help reduce the negative impact of overloading on road infrastructure, improve overall road safety, and accelerate the harmonisation of road transport instruments, ultimately leading to the development of an integrated road transport framework for Africa. This is critical as road transport is key to facilitating the implementation of the AfCFTA, given that 80% of trade currently moves by road and AfCTA is expected to stimulate transport demand by 28%.

Delegates at the workshop pose for a group photo

Delegates at the workshop pose for a group photo

The study tour to Heidelberg Traffic Control Centre on the Johannesburg-Durban highway which is the busiest section on the regional North South Corridor, also provided an avenue to enhance the understanding of the participants on how weighbridges can be standardised and implemented across the continent to minimise damage to road infrastructure and enhance road safety, which would serve as a step forward in terms of replicating best practices from countries that commenced similar practices ahead.

The Workshop has made significant strides in achieving its primary objectives paving the way for the realization of a more integrated, efficient, and sustainable road transport sector across the continent

Access to Workshop materials including various presentations and documentation on harmonising road regulatory frameworks

AUDA-NEPAD and JICA launch the 3rd edition OSBP Sourcebook

AUDA-NEPAD and JICA launch the 3rd edition OSBP Sourcebook

The African Union development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have launched the 3rd edition of the One-Stop Border Post Sourcebook on the margins of the Pre-TICAD event hosted at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg, South Africa. The OSBP Sourcebook is a key resource that elaborates the One-Stop Border Post concept and provides guidelines on OSBP operations. The 3rd edition has been prepared in alignment with Agenda 2063 as Africa moves towards a single customs union through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Speaking at the launch, on behalf of the CEO of AUDA-NEPAD, Ms. Nardos Bekele-Thomas, the Head of Economic Integration, Dr. Towela Nyirenda-Jere said that the 3rd edition comes at a significant time where the Continent is on the one hand dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 on cross-border movements and on the other, considering the role of border posts in the operationalization of the AfCFTA. “Another focus is the need to incorporate lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has affected trade and cross-border traffic, and it has required implementation of strict protocols and the setting up of social infrastructure to prevent the transmission of the virus.”, she said. The Sourcebook was launched on the margins of the pre-TICAD event themed “Towards TICAD8: Advancing Africa’s Economic Integration in the Post-Crisis era”. 

Click on the link to access the Sourcebook in English and French.

The Ambassador of Japan to South Africa, H.E Norio Maruyama reminded guests that ownership and partnerships are fundamental pillars for the comprehensive development of Africa. In this regard, Japan clarified its policy on supporting NEPAD in 2003 and has continued to partner with AUDA-NEPAD through strengthened cooperation mainly in the fields of regional integration, industrial development, nutrition, private sector support and research. This cooperation is a contribution to the development of the continent through African ownership initiatives.

The Panel discussants moderated by Ms. Jennifer Susan Chiriga, AUDA-NEPAD Chief of Staff, highlighted the need to think about the future of the Continent and the need to strengthen African institutions, Infrastructure Development, and an overall focus on ‘smart partnerships’. When asked what their key takeaways would be from this session, the Resident Representative of UNDP South Africa, Mr. Ayodele Odusola said: “ We must ensure that whatever we do, we put the people at the center of the development process” . Mr George Kararach, Lead Economist at the African Development Bank highlighted in his ‘take-away’ that AfDB views AfCFTA as more than just infrastructure. ‘ We see AfCFTA as food security, as Capacity Building, health etc.”, said Kararach. “We want to see a stable and peaceful Africa”, said the Senior Vice President of JICA, Mr. Toshiyuki Nakamura.

The conversations on Africa’s response to crises, such as COVID-19 will surely continue at the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development in August 2022. The conference brings together African Nations, International organizations, the private sector, and civil society to deliberate on the common goal of the development of Africa.

Download to read the complete publication, English | French

Installation and deployment of 50Kw Solar PV generation technology at Njala University, Sierra Leone

Installation and deployment of 50Kw Solar PV generation technology at Njala University, Sierra Leone

The challenge of access to energy has been recognised at the level of the African Union Agenda 2063 the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Goal 7 of the SDGs aims at achieving universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy by 2030, while Agenda 2063 Goals 1, 7 and 10 have targets for an increase of 50% in electricity generation, 50% distribution and 70% of Africans having access to electricity by 2023.

Furthermore, low levels of resilience to the threats such as COVID-19 in institutions of learning is a persistent challenge across Africa. Key among the causes of vulnerability of institutions across the continent is low productive capacity, especially a lack of access to key production drivers such as energy. Immediate resilience building interventions to respond to COVID-19 externalities are urgently required to cushion institutions of learning and rural households from anticipated severe short to long-term impacts. An effective response to the COVID-19 shock calls for simple, yet impactful, quick turn-around interventions that mitigate impacts in the short-term while building resilience in the long term.

It is in this context that this renewable energy project is an AUDA-NEPAD led response to the recommendation of the African Union High Level Panel on Emerging Technologies (APET), specially as part of the outcomes of the Dakar Policy Dialogue, to mitigate COVID-19 pandemic externalities.

Njala, in Sierra Leone, is a farming community with over 10,000 thousand inhabitants in which the Njala University campus was stablished in year 1964 with presently over 10 000 students and 220 staff devoid of basic amenities such as electricity and access to clean water. This puts pressure on the institution in terms of teaching, research development and to the women and youth of the entire community to meet up their domestic needs, including livestock production.

The university campus consists of the secretariat, students’ quarters and academic lecture auditoriums. The administrative secretariat provides essential educational services against severe capacity limitation due to lack of electricity. The campus has since been powered by a thermal generator of which the cost of operation is too high for the institution, hence the rationing of power which inhibits adequate hours of learning, thereby impacting negatively on quality of learning.. 

Consequent to the 100Kw energy system already delivered to Njala university in year 2021 to support access to digital health delivery services to university students, women, youth and the community of Njala at large, this additional deployment of 50Kw solar Pv energy generation aims to increase access to electricity supply. It will drive accelerated educational service delivery and institutional strengthening to Njala university in the fight against the current pandemic and beyond, while lifting academic productivity, living standards and livelihoods of the entire Njala community.

Project implementation

This 50Kw Solar PV energy generation system was awarded to Aptech Africa Limited as the executing firm in December 2021 through the Renewable Energy Unit of the Environmental Sustainability division of AUDA-NEPAD, with Mr Benjamin Akobundu as the Project Manager. It was fully completed in May 2022.

The implementation of this project was also monitored by University of Njala Project Monitoring Committee in conjunction with the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Energy. The project has also received the full acceptance of Inspection and Receiving Committee of AUDA-NEPAD.

Installed 50kw solar Pv energy system

The Battery System

Management System and Inverter