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.
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.
In 2021, the African Union Development Agency (AUADA-NEPAD) together with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) offered technical advisory to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through a Covid-19 Call for Proposals by AUDA-NEPAD’s Continental Business Network (CBN). Following the technical advisory offered by AUDA-NEPAD and GIZ support, Cool Lion launched a demonstration site in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire to showcase the product to prospective clients, mobilized USD25.000 grant funding from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Foundation. The company was selected as one of the 25 finalists of the Milken-Motsepe Prize for which they receive USD10.000 to further develop and test their designs. Furthermore, Cool Lion received a EUR261.481 grant from the EU – African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) Innovation Fund project on Accelerating Inclusive Green Growth through Agri-based Digital Innovation in West Africa (AGriDI). The Covid-19 Call for proposals offered technical assistance valued at EUR96.500 this comprised of a business plan, financial model, employment action plan, marketing collateral, and an opportunity to present to three prospective investors for business prospects.
Cool Lion is one of the MSMEs selected through a competitive continent-wide process and received technical advisory support to boost and improve its business prospects for investment opportunities. In addition, Cool Lion was selected as a pilot project under the Compact with Africa to receive technical assistance to mobilize financing for the project’s implementation and to carry out an employment analysis. Cool Lion contributes to eight of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including Zero Hunger by providing access to storage means that minimize food waste and prolong the shelf-life of fresh food, Good Health, and Well-being by reducing respiratory disease-causing black carbon emissions associated with the current method of smoking fish and Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.
Cool Lion provides sustainable, cold chain solutions through the fabrication and sale of affordable, solar-powered, refrigerated solar-powered refrigerated containers for social impact. The main target markets are fishing and horticultural produce sellers. To service these markets, Cool Lion offers a range of different container configurations with a choice of power source, temperature, and size, manufactured according to the needs of each customer. Its human-centered design process used inputs from the National Women’s Association of Fishmongering in Côte d’Ivoire (UNSCOFEPCI) which comprises 13 cooperatives and over 1,000 members.
The Assembly of the African Union Heads of State and Government adopted, in its 34th Ordinary Session on 7 February 2021, the strategic documents submitted by the Department of Infrastructure and Energy related to the Second Phase of the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA PAP2, 2021-2030). The strategic documents include PIDA PAP2 implementation strategy, financing strategy, and partnership strategy for sixty-nine (69) regional infrastructure projects in the sectors of Energy, Transport, Trans-Boundary Water, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT), with an estimated budget of 161 Billion USD. These projects were selected from a long list of over 240 projects proposed by Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), and Specialized African Institutions. The long list was the subject of extensive consultations from December 2018 and throughout 2020 and were prioritised according to new criteria which include rural connectivity, economic viability, financial attractiveness, climate friendliness, gender sensitive and smart infrastructure. The alignment of projects to the integrated corridor approach has been ensured during the submission and selection process through the corridor overlap and the inclusiveness and sustainability criteria. At a more strategic level of arbitration, projects which contribute to integration across regions and AUC flagships and Agenda 2063, especially those facilitating the implementation of the African Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the Free Movement of Goods and People, have been prioritized.
The selection of projects of the second phase of PIDA also ensured equitable distribution by African region and by sector and focused on preparedness and fast-tracked approaches.
It is estimated that, upon the implementation of PIDA PAP II projects, the outcomes include modal switch from road to rail transport and inclusion of fluvial navigation in more competitive and climate friendly multimodal transport systems, key contributions to establishment power pool interconnection as a first step to the African Single Energy Market (AfSEM), development of high impact multipurpose dams to achieve sustainable rural livelihoods and climate resilient agriculture, and using ICT infrastructure to develop value added services, boost digitalization and create jobs for youth. PIDA PAP 2 is expected to play a key role through the immediate impact of the construction activities, job creation and also boost industrialization and trade through provision of utilities and competitive transport and logistics services enabled by multi modal infrastructure.
The Heads of States and Governments meeting has also adopted the roadmap, policy and governance structure of the African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM). AfSEM is aims to facilitate a sustainable development of the African electricity sector through the integrated continental electricity market on the basis of the 2019 African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA). AfSEM will serve as key instruments under AfCFTA to foster conditions for economic growth and stability, while facilitating cross-border electricity trade. Under this scenario AUC is collaborating with pan-African and regional Energy institutions to operationalise the Electricity Market harmonization agenda by developing working documents, policy papers, roadmap and governance structure. The common policies for the organisation and functioning of the AfSEM are based on the existing policies governing the regional markets under RECs and the national markets within the AU Member States and have been designed to give confidence to investors and ensure that the supporting regulatory frameworks are robust, credible, and transparent to support investment and unlock trading opportunities that will enhance the socio-economic development of the African continent.
According to African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, H.E. Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, post-COVID-19 recovery requires the fast-tracking of Africa’s infrastructure development to improve resilience and improve livelihoods and economies. “The COVID-19 pandemic also accelerated digitalisation, exposed the gaps in energy in rural areas and the gender divide, and highlighted the need to develop infrastructure that is smart, climate resilient, inclusive and sustainable”, said Dr. Abou-Zeid, African Union Commissner for Infratsructure and Energy.
About the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA)
The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) is an African Union Commission initiative, in partnership with the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). This continental programme is designed to address the infrastructure deficit in transport, energy, ICT and transboundary water sectors. PIDA provides a common continental strategic framework and blue-print for inter-connecting and integrating Africa through priority infrastructure programmes and projects for African stakeholders to build the infrastructure necessary for more integrated transport, energy, ICT and trans-boundary water networks to unleash Africa’s economic and social transformation, boost trade, spark growth and create jobs and re-position Africa as a modern, competitive and vibrant continent, in line with the AU Agenda 2063 aspirations and goals.
The Second phase of PIDA has benefitted from the learning from phase 1 for over a decade (2012-2020). PIDA PAP II design and process have achieved (i) a high degree of country ownership and national prioritisation, (ii) a strategic approach to regional cross border infrastructure development, (ii) focus on projects with a well-defined scope which can independently reach financial close and be implemented in the short to medium term.
About the Africa Single Electricity Market (AfSEM)
The Africa Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) is the initiative of AUC. AfSEM is initiated to be the common language, the common energy governance system establishing the market operation over the continental-wide, interconnected electricity infrastructure. The goal is to give African households and businesses more secure, sustainable, reliable, competitive and affordable energy.The creation of AfSEM at the continental level started in 2015 in cooperation with the EU, to date, the AfSEM Policy Paper, the Roadmap and the governance structure were prepared by the team of EU-TAF Experts coordinated by the Department of Infrastructure and Energy, validated by RECs, Power Pools and other Pan African Energy Institutions. AfSEM is designed to bring greater energy security, sustainability and competitiveness to Africa Member states, it will be the largest single Electricity Market in the World covering 55-member states serving 1.5 Billion population, AfSEM will be the most cost-efficient response for strong growth of electricity demand in Africa, most essential tool to use full potential of the continent’s Renewable Energy Sources, and an Effective accelerator to 100% access of electricity in the continent. It is planned to launch the AfSEM in March, 2021. and to be fully operational by 2040.
The 6th PIDA Week scheduled for 18-21 January 2021, ended today on a high note with the various infrastructure stakeholders re-affirming the crucial role of PIDA in the achievement of the main goals of the AU Agenda 2063 for continental integration, prosperity and peace. They further reiterated their commitment to regional integration and the development of integrated and efficient infrastructure.
The closing of the week-long virtual event began with messages of condolence from AUDA-NEPAD Agency CEO, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, Ambassador Ghulam Hussein Asmal from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa and Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille, on the passing of Minister Jackson Mthembu, Minister in the South African Presidency. They all spoke of his high level of motivation, humility, and dedication to pan-Africanism.
PIDA Week this year saw deliberations ranging from the Continental Business Network session which focused on the accelerated involvement of the private sector in infrastructure projects, to sessions on resource mobilization, to the Africa Single Electricity Market, Cyber Security, African High Speed Rail, the AfCFTA, PIDA Priority Action Plan, Gender Responsive financing in infrastructure and a session on the PIDA Jobs Outlook.
Speaking during the opening session of the event, the CEO of the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki indicated that while the AfCFTA has become a reality, developing robust infrastructure is crucial to its operationalisation and success. He said that Member States must be connected physically and digitally through hard infrastructure and connected in the harmonisation and coordination of processes through soft infrastructure.
Echoing his sentiments at opening session was the Minister of International Relations, South Africa, Dr Naledi Pandor who spoke on the need for a unified approach to infrastructure development through regional integration and cooperation.
It is worthy to note that majority of the speakers during this PIDA Week spoke at length about the AfCFTA which in their perspective, would foster economic transformation in the continent. They however warned that without the necessary infrastructure being put into place, the goals of AfCFTA might not be realized.
“Infrastructure and industrialistion are the main pillars in the success of the AfCFTA” said Prudence Sebahizi during the AfCFTA, Infrastructure and Economic Transformation in Africa session.
PIDA Week was inaugurated in 2015 as a forum to bring together key stakeholders in the implementation of the PIDA programme. The event has since progressed into a critical forum for accelerating infrastructure implementation in Africa, but also to link infrastructure to the key themes of development of regional integration, transformative economic growth, and job creation. The format of the event provides an opportunity to engage and exchange information on PIDA and infrastructure development in general. This year’s event was held under the theme. New decade, new realities, new priorities – positioning PIDA and infrastructure development in Africa’s continued growth and economic recovery.
On the last day of this year’s PIDA Week, recommendations made by different stakeholders were read out in the form of a communique. The communique encapsulates key recommendations from the different sessions, and it outlines the commitments of the various stakeholders to advancing PIDA implementation. .
Reading from the Communique Ambassador Ghulam Hussein Asmal, (extracted from the communique), said: “We, Ministers and delegates to the Sixth PIDA Week … encourage PIDA stakeholders to adopt the principles espoused in the PIDA partnership strategy that will ensure a common African approach to infrastructure development partnerships; and urge AUC/AUDA-NEPAD to set mechanisms to assess the performance of Africa’s infrastructure partnerships using the accountability framework presented in the partnership strategy…”
In his remarks, Dr, Mayaki reminded participants of the need for adequate funding for project preparation, saying “The aspect of sustainable financing of early-stage project preparation cannot be over-emphasised. Without well-prepared projects, we will be shooting in the dark and unable to move projects to bankability and hence full implementation.”
The issue of youth empowerment in infrastructure through PIDA projects was highlighted by Minister Patricia de Lille who underscored that as infrastructure stakeholders both in the public and private space connect to various industries, it is important to bring the youth along on the journey.
“It would be a detriment to Africa, if the youth were to be neglected”, she said
The hope is that these commitments will not only be on paper but actualized because the realisation of the vision of Agenda 2063 is highly dependent on the implementation of these commitments.