The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) Steering Committee today concluded its two-day deliberations on the current status, the challenges and ways to improve the implementation of the continental programme, which will come under strong review at the PIDA Week, slated to be held from 10 to 14 December in Swakopmund, Namibia.
In his opening remarks, the Director for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission highlighted some of PIDA’s achievements since its inception in 2012.
The Director also expressed his gratitude to the Government of Namibia for accepting to co-host the 2017 PIDA Week in Swakopmund, Namibia under the auspices of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
“The continent has high expectations from the Third Edition of PIDA Week and I call on all stakeholders not to let it down, said Mr. Bedda, summing up a tone of urgency in the choice of invitees and the best conditions for the promotion of the projects that will be showcased during the event.
The Director further informed delegates that the PIDA projects would be showcased during the upcoming AU-EU Summit, planned for November 2017 in Cote D’Ivoire.
“PIDA will be featured as an agenda item during the Business Forum of the AU-EU Summit and hence it is up to us to seize this unique opportunity to better promote our projects,” Director Bedda concluded.
On his part, Mr. Symerre Grey-Johnson, Head of Regional Integration Infrastructure and Trade at the NEPAD Agency opined that that the meeting is the adequate forum to generate strategic solutions to the challenges that will be jointly identified, particularly regarding the realisation of the PIDA Priority Action as we are approaching 2020.
“We continue to think out of the box to seek innovative mechanism for infrastructure financing in Africa. The NPCA just launched the 5% Agenda which aims to mobilize domestic funds for infrastructure by rising Pension and sovereign wealth fund up to 5% of their investment,” Mr. Grey-Johnson told the meeting.
Mr. Grey-Johnson concluded by calling on all delegates on the need to embark on a consultative process to get input on the design of the PIDA PAP Phase Two as the end of the current phase is imminent.
Representing the African Development Bank, Mr. Mtchera Chirwa commended the partnership between the AUC, NEPAD Agency and AfDB under PIDA, which has achieved results in developing Africa’s infrastructure. He also reiterated the Bank’s continued prioritization for preparation and financing of PIDA projects within its pipelines. He called on the Steering Committee to start planning for the preparation of the next PIDA Priority Action Plan (PAP) to take effect upon conclusion of the current PAP in 2020.
The meeting had fruitful discussions around the preparation of PIDA Week particularly on how to fast-track the finalization of the concept note and agenda of the meeting and this was also tied in with the PIDA Week Communication Strategy presentation to which members requested to take a fresh approach focusing on beneficiaries of PIDA projects. The meeting also took note of the funding gap for PIDA Week, which should be urgently addressed.
The Steering Committee heard presentations on the status of the implementation of PIDA PAP, the preparation of the PIDA Progress Report 2017, PIDA Monitoring and Data Collection system, the Virtual PIDA Information Centre and the status of the various initiatives that facilitate PIDA implementation including the Service Delivery Mechanism (SDM), the Continental Business Network, the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (IPPF) and Africa 50. Organizations’ engagements during the upcoming AU-EU Summit were also discussed.
The meeting also heard reports from the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), the East African Community (EAC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Union of Arab Magreb (UMA) on the implementation of the PIDA Priority Action Plan (PAP) projects within their regions.
The PIDA Steering Committee is the highest technical body tasked with fostering overall coordination of implementation efforts by various stakeholders and to provide general policy guidance and facilitation for smooth implementation PIDA.
The two-day meeting was jointly organized by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA), was co-chaired by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and supported by GIZ. About 30 delegates representing the AUC, the NEPAD Agency, the AfDB, ECA, the European Union, GIZ, five Regional Economic Communities were in attendance.