Transforming Infrastructure Data Management with the Nile River Basin Investment Programme

Transforming Infrastructure Data Management with the Nile River Basin Investment Programme

Overview of Participants

The African Union Development Agency-NEPAD’s (AUDA-NEPAD) recent upgrade of the African Infrastructure Database (AID) represents a significant advancement in streamlining infrastructure projects across Africa. This enhancement, in line with evolving stakeholder requirements, ensures accurate, up-to-date project information is available, including details on status, financing, and implementation. The database is fundamental in fostering accuracy and reliability of data, which are crucial for the platform’s effectiveness and in enhancing project management skills necessary for tracking and reporting on infrastructure projects.

In a collaborative initiative between AUDA-NEPAD and the Nile River Basin Investment Programme (NR-BIP), supported by GIZ, a series of training sessions were launched, aimed at capacity building within the Nile Basin region. These sessions, held from January 15th to February 2nd, 2024, were designed to empower regional stakeholders to effectively utilize the AID platform. Focused on enabling stakeholders to manage project data proficiently, the trainings took place in various locations, including Entebbe, Uganda (January 15th–19th), Kisumu, Kenya (January 29th–30th), Kigali, Rwanda (January 30th–31st), and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (January 30th–February 2nd). This effort ensured the AID remained current, accurate, and reflective of ongoing developments within the Nile Basin, contributing significantly to improved management and coordination of infrastructure data, aligning with broader objectives of sustainable development and regional cooperation.

Participants from five key organizations, including the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC), Nile Eastern Lakes Investment Platform (NELIP), Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office (ENTRO), NR-BIP, and the Eastern African Power Pool (EAPP), benefited from these in-person sessions. The training structure encompassed several key modules: introduction to the AID platform, new project induction, data updating and validation, and project monitoring and reporting. This hands-on approach significantly bolstered participants’ confidence and competence in effectively using the platform.

One of the key achievements of these training sessions was the fostering of collaboration and knowledge sharing among stakeholders. Participants shared details about their projects, effectively reducing duplication of effort. For instance, initial confusion regarding the coordinators of specific projects was efficiently resolved through a consolidated project view, enhancing clarity of responsibilities. Another significant impact was the enhancement of participants’ skills in data collection, updating, and validation. The training taught best practices in data collection methodologies, ensuring the quality and reliability of the information captured, enabling participants to contribute significantly to continuous improvements within their roles and organizations. Furthermore, the program facilitated harmonization of projects across the Nile Basin, offering better opportunities for coordination and financing as information and data became more accessible and comprehensible to all stakeholders.

The training also identified key opportunities, such as strengthening partnerships and the potential for further engagement in data collection and analysis. However, it highlighted challenges like the persistent use of manual processes in managing infrastructure data across organizations. Recommendations moving forward included sharing project lists with various stakeholders, creating regional infrastructure dashboards, engaging with other Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to utilize the upgraded platform, and developing institutional systems for data management. Implementing a roadmap for training and event rollout to other regions and organizations was also emphasized.

This initiative represents a milestone in capacity building within the Nile Basin region, elevating the technical capabilities of participants and contributing significantly to the harmonized approach towards project assessment, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting within the NR-BIP. As participating stakeholders succinctly put it, “The AID serves as a pivotal single window into infrastructure projects across Africa. This is crucial for developing infrastructure that aligns with regional integration and corridor development.” These trainings are therefore vital in enhancing access to such critical regional infrastructure data.

AUDA-NEPAD & FSPPI’s Joint Initiative in N’Djamena

AUDA-NEPAD & FSPPI’s Joint Initiative in N’Djamena

AUDA-NEPAD and the Fonds Special pour la Préparation des Projets d’InfraStructure au Tchad (FSPPI) recently joined forces in N’Djamena, Chad. Over three days, from February 26th to 28th, 2024, the two institutions held talks aimed at charting a strategic course for Chad’s infrastructure, digitalisation, and capacity building. The workshop endeavoured to ensure that regulations and laws are aligned with the post-COVID-19 environment, integrating provisions for future advancements such as AI and advanced manufacturing techniques. Among the outcomes achieved were the formulation of a forward-thinking 10-year infrastructure development plan, the establishment of a digitisation strategy for FSPPI, and the creation of a comprehensive capacity development strategy. With the help of AUDA-NEPAD, this cooperative effort prepares Chad for transformative growth and development over the following ten years.

On the first day, teams were introduced, the work program was adopted, and there was a detailed discussion on integrated corridor and economic development techniques. A substantial portion of the day was dedicated to comprehending the African Infrastructure Database (AID), the Virtual PIDA Information Centre (vPIC), Job Creation Toolkit, and strategies for an integrated Data Management System.

On the second day, the attention turned to examining thematic work plans that include infrastructure, digitalization, and capacity building in breakout sessions. The afternoon seminars focused on creating a strategic infrastructure development plan, implementing a digital project information management system, and designing a comprehensive capacity enhancement program.

Day three was crucial in finalizing the results of the earlier sessions. The teams introduced and examined the strategic plans for infrastructure development, digitalization, and capacity building. These sessions were crucial in establishing a clear direction for the future. Elaboration was also done to align the road map and strategic direction to the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).

Group Photo of AUDA-NEPAD and FSPPI Teams

The mission’s most significant accomplishment was creating a forward-thinking 10-year plan for infrastructure development, showcasing the commitment and vision of those involved. The formation of a digitization strategy for FSPPI was equally important to ensure the organization remains at the forefront of technological advancement. The mission successfully created a detailed capacity development strategy, emphasizing the dedication to ongoing growth and skill improvement.

The AUDA-NEPAD and FSPPI mission in N’Djamena was a gathering that involved exchanging ideas, views, and hopes for a brighter Chad, rather than just a series of talks. The program ended with uplifting concluding remarks delivered by FSPPI Vice Managing Director Mr Abdelkerim Sougour Bourigué, reflecting optimism and advancement. Chad and FSPPI are beginning an ambitious adventure guided by a roadmap designed to lead them to unparalleled growth and development over the course of the next decade with support from AUDA-NEPAD.

Call for MSME-led Digital Solutions Forge Valuable Connections with Investors and Partners at the Intra-African Trade Fair in Cairo Egypt

Call for MSME-led Digital Solutions Forge Valuable Connections with Investors and Partners at the Intra-African Trade Fair in Cairo Egypt

The 3rd Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) 2023 hosted by the Arab Republic of Egypt in Cairo, from 9-15 November 2023, served as a platform for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to highlight their potential and interact with investors from across the continent. The event proved to be a catalyst for fostering partnerships, encouraging trade, and promoting economic growth within Africa.

The Output 3 of GIZ Support to PIDA: Green Infrastructure Corridors for Intra-African Trade, is a micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME)-driven Digital Solutions to support green infrastructure and trade. Under the initiative, ten African MSMEs have been selected to receive technical advisory services and capacity building. These MSMEs from seven African Union (AU) Member States, that specialize in providing digital solutions for green infrastructure and intra-African trade, representing all five AU regions, have been chosen from a pool of over 50 applicants in response to AUDA-NEPAD’s 2022 Call for MSME-led Digital Solutions which is supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ).

Of the 10 MSMEs supported by AUDA-NEPAD and GIZ, five were selected to exhibit at the AUDA-NEPAD stand during IATF2023. The IATF offered MSMEs a unique opportunity to exhibit their products and services to a diverse and influential audience. With a wide range of sectors represented, including agriculture, manufacturing, technology, and more, MSMEs were able to showcase their innovation and entrepreneurship on a grand scale. The fair served as a launchpad for these businesses to gain exposure, build networks, and explore potential investment avenues.

The presence of investors and financial institutions at the AUDA-NEPAD stand, opened doors for MSMEs seeking capital infusion and strategic partnerships. Throughout the exhibition, MSMEs actively engaged with potential investors, presenting their business models, growth plans, and unique value propositions. These interactions allowed investors to gain insight into the MSMEs’ potential for growth, while SMEs had the chance to pitch their ideas and secure the much-needed funding to drive their businesses forward.

In addition to one-on-one meetings with investors and potential clients/customers, the MSMES also had an opportunity to engage the AUDA-NEPAD CEO. They discussed challenges, opportunities, and strategies for fostering sustainable growth in Africa’s SME sector. The insights shared during these discussions proved invaluable for MSMEs, providing them with guidance on market trends, regulatory frameworks, and access to markets.

In a meeting with the Head of Infrastructure, Dr Towela Nyirenda-Jere, MSMEs engaged in a productive discussion on the deployment of digital solutions in green infrastructure and intra-African trade. The meeting focused on exploring innovative ways to leverage technology for sustainable development and enhancing trade within the continent. There was a shared commitment to further explore the potential of digital solutions in green infrastructure development and intra-African trade. The MSMEs expressed their readiness to collaborate with other relevant stakeholders to drive the adoption of digital technologies, promote sustainable practices, and enhance trade across the continent. By harnessing the power of digital solutions, MSMEs aim to contribute to the development of green infrastructure and the expansion of intra-African trade. They recognize that innovative technologies, combined with collaborative efforts, can create a more sustainable and prosperous future for Africa.

Furthermore, the MSMEs had an interaction with the Gender Expert, Jessica Annor, who among other things highlighted the importance of women inclusion in the development of digital technology. The conversation centred around recognizing the untapped potential of women in the tech industry and the need to create an enabling environment for their participation. On the other hand, the MSMEs emphasized that women bring unique perspectives, skills, and creativity to the digital technology sector. They argued that by harnessing the talents of women, the industry can benefit from diverse insights and innovative solutions, leading to more inclusive and effective technologies.

Post – IATF Success Stories:

Several success stories emerged in the aftermath of the IATF, highlighting concrete results that can be achieved through interactions between SMEs and investors. For instance, Milimonline, a technology startup operating in the Malawian Agri-Food Marketplace, effectively established communication with a local commercial bank in Malawi, which resulted in a prospective partnership that could potentially involve direct investment. Discussions regarding a prospective partnership agreement with Absa Bank of Zambia are currently underway. These substantial investments from the banks will enable the organization to extend its operations and achieve a more extensive presence throughout the continent. In response to the insightful feedback provided by customers, Milimonline has modified their business model from one of commission to one of subscription. Additionally, the IATF assisted Milimonline in identifying 56 potential customers; since then, the company has onboarded 12 high-value clients from four African countries.

During IATF, Eazy Chain, a logistic startup from Togo, formed four strategic partnerships with major players in the logistics industry. These partnerships not only offered financial support but also shared their knowledge in market penetration and distribution networks, thereby contributing to the overall expansion of the logistics sector in Togo. Eazy Chain has formed a partnership with a well-known pet food manufacturer from France to manage their operations in Togo.

Since IATF, Eazy Chain experienced a significant 25% increase in website traffic. This rise is a clear indication of increased interest and involvement in their services, showcasing the beneficial influence of participating in international trade events. Currently, Eazy Chain has successfully acquired 25 more new customers. These customers demonstrate a strong desire to utilize their services for the importation and exportation of commodities to and from Togo. The increase in the number of new clients is evidence of the expanding confidence and acknowledgment of Eazy Chain’s capabilities of Eazy Chain.

These success stories demonstrate the power of the IATF in connecting SMEs with investors and fostering mutually beneficial partnerships. Among the numerous success stories that emerged from the fair, the interactions between the five MSMEs and potential investors and partners left a lasting impression.

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.