The primary goal for the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) is to overcome regional connectivity challenges by developing transformative infrastructure across the continent. By fostering enhanced connectivity, PIDA aims to fuel intra-Africa trade, facilitate movement of people, and position Africa as a global player. With reduced business costs and unrestricted flow of capital and talent, PIDA paves the way for a prosperous and interconnected Africa.
Over the past ten years, PIDA has driven remarkable progress in transport, energy, ICT and transboundary water resources across Africa. Thanks to AUDA-NEPAD’s dedicated efforts, PIDA projects have transitioned from planning to active stages, with many now operational, under construction, in financial transactions, or undergoing structural development.
KEY IMPACT OF PIDA IMPLEMENTATION
Close to 30 million people gained access to electricity, with current overall access to electricity at around 44%. There has been a slight increase in intra-Africa exports to 16% of trade due to road and rail infrastructure. PIDA enables the water storage infrastructure needed for food production and trade. ICT broadband penetration is now more than 25%, exceeding the 10% target. One of the intended outcomes of PIDA is also to address economic marginalisation and social exclusion issues by facilitating the creation of economic opportunities and decent employment. During construction and operation, 112,900 direct and 49,400 indirect jobs were created.
By the end of 2020, investment commitments had exceeded the PIDA PAP1 initial estimation by USD 14 billion (20% above the initial target), reaching USD 82 billion. Different financing sources for PIDA PAP1 have been allocated, including USD 34.35 billion (42%) from AU Member States, USD 19.67 billion (24%) from ICA Members (including World Bank Group, AfDB, ICA MDBs, and DFIs), USD 19.42 billion (24%) from the People’s Republic of China, USD 2.28 billion (3%) from the private sector, and USD 5.88 billion (7%) from other sources. The portion of private sector financing (3%) of PIDA projects has been particularly low when compared with other emerging economies, such as India (19%) and Mexico (16%).
The ownership principle is critical to the success of infrastructure development projects promoted by PIDA across Africa. Its principle is based on the belief that infrastructure development projects must cater, first and foremost, to the needs of African countries. With this in mind, it is necessary to acknowledge that the most significant source of financing commitments to PIDA PAP1 (42%) comes from AU Member States. Failure to consider ownership may lead to poor implementation and eventual failure of infrastructure projects.
PERSPECTIVES ON THE FUTURE
Over the past decade, several important lessons have been learned in the context of PIDA that can be applied to achieve Africa’s infrastructure goals. These lessons can be summarized as follows:
- Leveraging Innovative Opportunities: PIDA can expedite project implementation by embracing emerging opportunities in technology, innovative infrastructure sources,
and financing. Advancements in technology, digitalisation, and renewable energy offer new avenues for infrastructure development, fostering connectivity, innovation, job creation, and economic growth. Private sector funding, green bonds, and climate financing should be harnessed to increase investment in PIDA projects.
- Scaling Up Successful Projects: PIDA has shown the importance of regional integration and cooperation, especially in the ICT sector, where it has exceeded its targets. It is crucial to replicate successful projects and share best practices across Africa, emphasizing documentation and experience-sharing through platforms like the Virtual PIDA Information Centre (VPIC) to empower countries.
- Addressing Capacity and Funding Challenges: The next generation of PIDA projects should tackle challenges related to inadequate capacity for project preparation and limited funding availability. Strengthening public-private partnerships, improving feasibility studies, and streamlining regulatory frameworks can enhance investment attractiveness and bridge financing gaps. Additionally, capacity-building and good governance practices are essential to ensure efficient project delivery.
- Sustainability and Long-Term Impact: Infrastructure maintenance is often overlooked in Africa, so future PIDA projects should incorporate systemic maintenance plans and financing strategies. Furthermore, projects should prioritize environmental, social, and economic sustainability by integrating green initiatives, renewable energy, and climate resilience. Promoting social inclusivity and gender equality in infrastructure planning and implementation will ensure equitable growth.
- Inter-Institutional Collaboration and Partnerships: Collaborative efforts among African Union institutions, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), development partners, and the private sector have been integral to PIDA’s success. These partnerships must be strengthened to mobilize resources, share expertise, and facilitate knowledge exchange, ensuring a harmonized approach to infrastructure development in Africa.
By integrating these lessons into PIDA’s future endeavors, Africa can address its infrastructure deficit, promote sustainable development, and foster economic growth and connectivity across the continent.
Key Highlights of the PIDA 10 Year Report