African Union Infrastructure and Energy Commissioner calls for proactive gender-responsive infrastructure development in Africa

African Union Infrastructure and Energy Commissioner calls for proactive gender-responsive infrastructure development in Africa

H.E. Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy says the integration of gender-responsive approaches in infrastructure planning and implementation is not an agenda to postpone if Africa is to reach its full potential.

Opening the Gender-Responsive Infrastructure Development Webinar hosted by the African Network for Women in Infrastructure (ANWIN), Commissioner Abou-Zeid stressed the need to consider gender dimensions in all aspects of infrastructure development cycles, moving beyond gender-neutrality in the field.

The Commissioner noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the deficiencies across the various sectors of infrastructure in Africa; pinpointing that only 28 percent of health facilities in Africa have access to reliable energy, more than 600 million Africans lack electricity, and over 900 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa are denied of access to clean cooking. “The impact of the global pandemic worsens the constraints women face, due to the already challenging infrastructure landscape in the Continent,” says the Commissioner referring to the disproportionate burden African women shoulder due to infrastructure deficits.

The Second Phase of the Program for Infrastructure Development Program in Africa (PIDA) which will be implemented from 2021-2030 is believed to serve as an enhancer of women empowerment in Africa’s infrastructure endeavours.  “As we embark upon the Second Phase of PIDA Priority Action Plan (PIDA-PAP2), we want to make sure that the sector generates jobs for skilled women professionals, ensure gender-responsive procurement, enhance the participation of women-led enterprises in the supply and value chains, and help women to make the best out of digitalization,” underscored Commissioner Abou-Zeid.

Aiming at supporting participants in ensuring gender-responsive planning, designing, implementing, monitoring & evaluation of infrastructure projects, the Webinar has brought together PIDA focal points from African Union Member States (MS), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), ANWIN’s Founding Members, private sector, and civil society among others.

Two ANWIN tools namely, the Gender-Responsive Infrastructure Development (GRID) Guidelines and PIDA Gender-Responsive Infrastructure Policy Brief (GRIPB) were showcased during the two-hour virtual presentation. The GRID Guidelines complement the PIDA implementation by including demand-side gender impacts of infrastructure and provide practical guidance to MS and RECs, while the GRIPB  aims to outline the gender-smart infrastructure policy areas that should be considered for dialogue and relevant reforms throughout the Infrastructure development process.

The webinar concluded with a round of questions and comments from the MS & REC participants concerning their respective roles and responsibilities in advancing gender-responsive practices in infrastructure, which highlighted the importance of proactive stakeholders’ engagement to attain the set targets.


About ANWIN: the African Network for Women in Infrastructure (ANWIN), which was endorsed by the Specialized Technical Committee (STC) in its Second Ordinary Session in Cairo from 17 to 18th April 2019 and officially launched at the 5th Edition of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) Week in Cairo in November 2019, functions as a key instrument for promoting gender-responsive planning and implementation of African infrastructure projects ranging from transport, science, and technology, to water and energy.

For more information on the African Network for Women in Infrastructure (ANWIN), contact the ANWIN Secretariat, Department of Infrastructure and Energy African Union Commission. P.O. Box 3243 | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Email: ANWIN@africa-union.org  web: http://www.au.int, https://www.au-pida.org & https://pp2.au-pida.org 

Task Force Training for PIDA Priority Action Plan (PAP2)

Task Force Training for PIDA Priority Action Plan (PAP2)

The African Union Commission (AUC) launched a three-day workshop from 29th – 31st January 2020 to train task force nominees on the project selection criteria in pursuit of “inclusive, sustainable world-class infrastructure” carved out by Agenda 2063.  Expert representatives from infrastructure sectors: energy, transport, ICT, and transboundary water resources were selected from the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to take part in the workshop for a better understanding on the application of the Integrated Corridor Approach in the PIDA PAP2 project selection process so that they would, in turn, guide representatives from the Member States and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in identifying priority infrastructure projects in line with the AU vision under Agenda 2063.

In his opening remarks, the Head of Information Society Division at the AUC, Mr. Moctar Yedaly thanked the participants for attending this vital workshop and emphasized the need for unceasing commitment to see the PIDA PAP2 through the STC approval in October 2020 and its adoption by the Heads of State in January 2021. “We have new projects to select taking into consideration what has been achieved and what we have yet to do,” he highlighted. The task force intends to build upon the experiences and lessons learned from PIDA PAP1 projects to lay the groundwork for PIDA PAP2.

Moving into the second phase of PIDA, the Member States and RECs must first identify priority projects so that ultimately the projects reflect the needs of the main stakeholders. The Members States will propose their projects to RECs, who are required to fill out specific forms requesting key information to screen projects with the guidance of the task force before submitting it for review. Once the project identification is complete, the task force will analyze, score and prioritize the proposed projects according to the eligibility and project selection criteria. While the eligibility criteria focus on regional integration, the project selection criteria concentrate on inclusiveness and sustainability with regard to gender sensitivity, rural connectivity, and environmental friendliness. The project selection criteria also weigh the economic and financial impact of projects in terms of job creation, economic impact, bankability, smart/innovative approaches, and corridor planning.

Fifty total projects will be picked by the end of the process, ten projects per region and at least one project by sector. The screening tool, based on inputs by the taskforce, will generate a weighted overall score to measure a project’s ability to respond to the Integrated Corridor Approach for the selection. This task force training was launched with support from GIZ with the objective of PIDA PAP2 adoption by Heads of State in 2021.

AUC and NEPAD Rally Partners for Next Phase of PIDA

AUC and NEPAD Rally Partners for Next Phase of PIDA

The African Union Commission and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency today convened partners in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to rally support for the next phase of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), which is currently under formulation.

In his remarks, the Director for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission, Mr. Cheikh Bedda stated that the Coordination Meeting is happening at a strategic time in the life of PIDA.

“The implementation of the first phase, running from 2012 to 2020, has almost reached its end, engagement is well underway in the implementation of PIDA, and negotiations are ongoing for the next phase of PIDA-PAP. By bringing together all these partners, the coordination meeting provides a unique opportunity to promote collaboration and coordination on the second phase of PIDA-PAP (2020-2030),” the Director explained.

Mr. Bedda concluded his remarks by thanking GiZ and the European Union for their continued support to the first phase of PIDA and their pledges in the formulation and eventual implementation of the second phase of PIDA PAP.

On his part, Mr. Symerre Grey-Johnson, Head of Regional Integration Infrastructure and Trade at the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency stated “this gathering is laying the groundwork for a new era of collaboration of working together that will propel us towards our common goal for PIDA.”

Mr. Grey-Johnson gave an overall presentation on PIDA and an outlook on the formulation of the next phase with an invitation to all partners in attendance to involve by listing the opportunities for further engagement on PIDA and with the objective of optimal alignment and coordination between partners.

The event gathered representatives from GiZ, European Union, Chinese Mission to the African Union and the Embassies of the Republic of Indonesia and Korea, representing the Group MIKTA, which is an informal partnership between Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey and Australia.

A number of key themes emerged in the main discussion, covering a wide range of issues including: strengthened involvement of the private sector in infrastructure, formulation of project selection criteria, pre-screening of projects against these criteria, support to the expert pool under the Service Delivery Mechanism (SDM) for early-stage project preparation and support to the optimization of the Continental Business Network (CBN) for an increased private sector engagement.

Partners lauded the AUC and the NEPAD Agency for organizing such an event early in the process of the preparation of the next phase of PIDA and they agreed that going forward there should be an effort to reduce overlaps and duplication of efforts from partners to ensure increased efficiency.

It was also agreed that AUC and NEPAD will organize bilateral meetings with each partner in the coming two months to iron out the work plan and find common areas of cooperation.

This first time gathering of these key partners to PIDA was jointly organized by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA). About 20 delegates were in attendance.

AUC, NEPAD and GIZ discuss new 7 million Euro envelope dedicated to the next phase of PIDA

AUC, NEPAD and GIZ discuss new 7 million Euro envelope dedicated to the next phase of PIDA

The next phase of GiZ support to the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) Priority Action Plan (PAP) 2 with an envelope of Euro 7 million for the next three years was at the heart of discussions of the two-day meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 12 and 13 November 2018.

In his remarks, the Director for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission, Mr. Cheikh Bedda stated that this meeting is happening at a strategic time in the life of PIDA as the implementation of the first phase, running from 2012 to 2020, has almost reached its end.

“It is therefore necessary and important for AUC, NEPAD, GiZ and all involved that their activities and programmes should be harmonised and coordinated so that we can all put our financial and human resources to achieve our common goal for PIDA. This calls for stronger partnerships and collaborations among regional, continental and international institutions as well as active engagement with our member States,” Mr. Bedda asserted.

On his part, Mr. Symerre Grey-Johnson, Head of Regional Integration Infrastructure and Trade at the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency appealed for tangible results from PIDA that can impact the lives of Africans while emphasizing the essential importance of strengthened collaboration from PIDA’s implementing partners.

GIZ started its new PIDA-support phase in August 2018 with four output areas covering EURO 7 million. The objective of the meeting was to garner joint understanding of objectives and content on next GIZ-PIDA support phase; clarify on modes of cooperation, communication, monitoring progress and develop a joint workplan for GIZ Support to PIDA Phase 2018-2021.

The two-day meeting was jointly organized by the African Union Commission (AUC), the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) and GIZ. About 30 delegates representing the three institutions were in attendance.