The 2019 Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) Week opened in Cairo, Egypt, Monday with a clarion call from key players in the infrastructure sector for enhanced partnerships between the public and private sectors to develop the continent’s infrastructure to spur industrial growth and employment creation.
They agreed that greater economic activity, enhanced efficiency and increased competitiveness on the continent were continually being hampered by inadequate transport, communication, water and power infrastructure.
“The lack of infrastructure in Africa is an obstruction to economic growth, hence the need to expedite infrastructure development projects to achieve the 2063 development agenda,” said Ambassador Khaled Emara, Assistant Foreign Minister for African Organizations and Communities and Egyptian President’s Representative to the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD).
Ambassador Emara further noted that the world, is eager to do business with Africa, but finds it difficult to access the continent due to poor infrastructure.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) spoke on the rationale behind PIDA Week and its objective, highlighted the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD’s strategy in PIDA implementation and reminded delegates of the importance of accountability and political will in order to transform Africa’s Infrastructure.
“This is not another conference, not another ordinary week. This is for you, stakeholders in the Infrastructure development space, to own and significantly contribute to change the lives of millions Africans!.As this responsibility has been bestowed upon us, we shouldn’t take this lightly when we engage in the various sessions throughout the week” said Mayaki
“And to quote President Paul Kagame’s report on the African Union reforms, “We have everything needed to succeed. To fail Africa again would be unforgiveable.” he concluded.
African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, said PIDA Week was an important platform to evaluate achievements and challenges the continent is facing in infrastructure development and to plan for the future.
The Commissioner said there was need for Africa to attract private investments and utilize pension and sovereign funds to develop the much-needed infrastructure on the continent.
“We should learn from our mistakes and focus on the projects that we are going to implement in the next ten years. We should learn how we can be more attractive to investment. We should re-draft how we present bankable projects so as to be able to involve stakeholders from the public and private sectors,” she added.
For his part, H.E Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, Prime Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt, in his keynote speech delivered by Dr. Mohamed Shaker El-Markab, the Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, said;
“The implementation of the African development plan, Agenda 2063, is based on providing an advanced infrastructure with sustainable services in light of its commitment to attract investment and promote intra-African trade to achieve the regional and economic integration that our countries and people aspire to.”
Since its inception in 2015, PIDA Week has evolved and grown to become the flagship advocacy and marketing event for PIDA, which was formed to drive Africa’s aspirations for infrastructure development in line with Agenda 2063.
More than 700 delegates from across the continent and beyond are attending this year’s PIDA Week which is held under the theme “Positioning Africa to deliver on Agenda 2063 and economic integration through multi-sectoral approaches to infrastructure development”.