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).
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.