NEPAD Agency, represented by the Head of Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Programme, Mr Symerre Grey-Johnson, undertook a working visit to COMESA to discuss preparatory arrangements for the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) Week 2018, as well as to provide training to COMESA staff on the Virtual PIDA Information Centre (VPiC).
During the working visit, Mr Grey-Johnson also paid a courtesy call to the Secretary General of COMESA, Mr Sindiso Ndema Ngwenya and delivered a special message from the NEPAD Agency CEO, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki.
In response to the special message from Dr Mayaki, the Secretary General commended the excellent work that the NEPAD Agency is doing as a technical agency of the African Union under the leadership of Dr Mayaki.
He added that COMESA is ready to host PIDA Week 2018 and that the regional economic community looks forward to showcasing PIDA projects situated within the region. The Secretary General will, after consultations with member states, provide information on the venue and dates for PIDA Week 2018.
Mr Grey-Johnson and Mr Jean Baptiste Mutabazi, on behalf of the two institutions thereafter signed an aide-mémoire, detailing the modalities of cooperation, specifically on:
- Knowledge exchange through the sharing of detailed project data;
- Joint implementation of the second phase of the PIDA Capacity Building project;
- Training and capacity development in the content management of the Virtual PIDA Information Centre
- Joint planning and collaboration in the build-up to PIDA Week 2018
With regards VPiC, Mr Mutabazi commended NEPAD Agency for the training provided to COMESA and indicated that COMESA will continue to use the tool to share crucial information on the progress of the PIDA projects.
COMESA has been instrumental in accelerating key PIDA projects within the region. These include the Zambia- Tanzania-Kenya transmission interconnector, the North- South Multimodal Transport Corridor and the Lilongwe – Lusaka Terrestrial Fibre Connection.
“We note and acknowledge the immense work that the COMESA region has put into the realisation and success of these projects. We commend you for that. This joint collaboration between NEPAD Agency and COMESA will indeed help strengthen the commitment from all our partners to accelerate PIDA project implementation,” said Mr Grey-Johnson.
On behalf of Dr Mayaki, Mr Grey-Johnson expressed gratitude to the Secretary General and COMESA for hosting the NEPAD team during the working visit and for accepting to host PIDA week 2018 in one of the member states, including providing the necessary support as required.