The Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative (PICI) was adopted to accelerate regional infrastructure development that is enabled through the political championing of projects. The role of the champions is to bring visibility, unblock bottlenecks, co-ordinate resource mobilisation and ensure project implementation. Most of the PICI projects, if not all, have made tremendous progress since its inception.

The 8th Technical Task Team workshop for the PICI was held in Windhoek, Namibia from the 23 to 24 January. The workshop was co-hosted by the Government of Namibia (Ministry of Works and Transport) and the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD).

Namibia’s Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works and Transport, Mr Willem Goeiemann gave a description of the Namibian International Logistics Hub PICI project. Through its Transport Master Plan, Namibia aims to establish a development framework and strategies to make the country the regional logistics centre. Namibia will structure this PICI project within the context of the PICI protocol and modalities.

Representing the AUDA-NEPAD CEO, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, Mr Symerre Grey-Johnson, NEPAD Agency’s Head of Partnerships, Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade said that, “PICI technical workshops not only provide a platform for knowledge sharing with all of the respective experiences, but through the active participation of all focal points, they also aim to define an implementation strategy enabling our Heads of State and Government to be actively involved in the development of these projects.”

The Champions of infrastructure in PICI include:

  • H.E President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria for the Missing Link of the Trans-Sahara Highway, as well as the Optic Fibre from Algeria via Niger to Nigeria;
  • H.E President Macky Sall of Senegal for the Dakar-Ndjamena- Djibouti Road/Rail;
  • H.E Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria for the Nigeria– Algeria Gas Pipeline: Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline;
  • H.E President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo champions for the Kinshasa-Brazzaville Bridge Road/Rail;
  • H.E President Paul Kagame of Rwanda champions the Unblocking of Political Bottlenecks for ICT Broadband and Fibre optic projects;
  • H.E President Abdel Fattah El Sisi of Egypt champions the Establishment of a Navigational Line from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean Sea via the River Nile Project (VICMED);
  • H.E President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa for the North- South Corridor Road/Rail Project;
  • H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta, of Kenya for the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor Project (LAPSSET)
  • H.E President Hage Geingob, of Namibia champions the International Logistics Infrastructure Hub Projects

The Technical Task Team workshop provided a platform for effective brainstorming and round table discussions on the best and innovative solutions for infrastructure delivery for Africa ranging from infrastructure financing solutions, enabling environment, private public partnership delivery solutions based on international best practices.

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