Overview of Participants

The African Union Development Agency-NEPAD’s (AUDA-NEPAD) recent upgrade of the African Infrastructure Database (AID) represents a significant advancement in streamlining infrastructure projects across Africa. This enhancement, in line with evolving stakeholder requirements, ensures accurate, up-to-date project information is available, including details on status, financing, and implementation. The database is fundamental in fostering accuracy and reliability of data, which are crucial for the platform’s effectiveness and in enhancing project management skills necessary for tracking and reporting on infrastructure projects.

In a collaborative initiative between AUDA-NEPAD and the Nile River Basin Investment Programme (NR-BIP), supported by GIZ, a series of training sessions were launched, aimed at capacity building within the Nile Basin region. These sessions, held from January 15th to February 2nd, 2024, were designed to empower regional stakeholders to effectively utilize the AID platform. Focused on enabling stakeholders to manage project data proficiently, the trainings took place in various locations, including Entebbe, Uganda (January 15th–19th), Kisumu, Kenya (January 29th–30th), Kigali, Rwanda (January 30th–31st), and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (January 30th–February 2nd). This effort ensured the AID remained current, accurate, and reflective of ongoing developments within the Nile Basin, contributing significantly to improved management and coordination of infrastructure data, aligning with broader objectives of sustainable development and regional cooperation.

Participants from five key organizations, including the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC), Nile Eastern Lakes Investment Platform (NELIP), Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office (ENTRO), NR-BIP, and the Eastern African Power Pool (EAPP), benefited from these in-person sessions. The training structure encompassed several key modules: introduction to the AID platform, new project induction, data updating and validation, and project monitoring and reporting. This hands-on approach significantly bolstered participants’ confidence and competence in effectively using the platform.

One of the key achievements of these training sessions was the fostering of collaboration and knowledge sharing among stakeholders. Participants shared details about their projects, effectively reducing duplication of effort. For instance, initial confusion regarding the coordinators of specific projects was efficiently resolved through a consolidated project view, enhancing clarity of responsibilities. Another significant impact was the enhancement of participants’ skills in data collection, updating, and validation. The training taught best practices in data collection methodologies, ensuring the quality and reliability of the information captured, enabling participants to contribute significantly to continuous improvements within their roles and organizations. Furthermore, the program facilitated harmonization of projects across the Nile Basin, offering better opportunities for coordination and financing as information and data became more accessible and comprehensible to all stakeholders.

The training also identified key opportunities, such as strengthening partnerships and the potential for further engagement in data collection and analysis. However, it highlighted challenges like the persistent use of manual processes in managing infrastructure data across organizations. Recommendations moving forward included sharing project lists with various stakeholders, creating regional infrastructure dashboards, engaging with other Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to utilize the upgraded platform, and developing institutional systems for data management. Implementing a roadmap for training and event rollout to other regions and organizations was also emphasized.

This initiative represents a milestone in capacity building within the Nile Basin region, elevating the technical capabilities of participants and contributing significantly to the harmonized approach towards project assessment, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting within the NR-BIP. As participating stakeholders succinctly put it, “The AID serves as a pivotal single window into infrastructure projects across Africa. This is crucial for developing infrastructure that aligns with regional integration and corridor development.” These trainings are therefore vital in enhancing access to such critical regional infrastructure data.

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