The African Union Commission (AUC) launched a three-day workshop from 29th – 31st January 2020 to train task force nominees on the project selection criteria in pursuit of “inclusive, sustainable world-class infrastructure” carved out by Agenda 2063. Expert representatives from infrastructure sectors: energy, transport, ICT, and transboundary water resources were selected from the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to take part in the workshop for a better understanding on the application of the Integrated Corridor Approach in the PIDA PAP2 project selection process so that they would, in turn, guide representatives from the Member States and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in identifying priority infrastructure projects in line with the AU vision under Agenda 2063.
In his opening remarks, the Head of Information Society Division at the AUC, Mr. Moctar Yedaly thanked the participants for attending this vital workshop and emphasized the need for unceasing commitment to see the PIDA PAP2 through the STC approval in October 2020 and its adoption by the Heads of State in January 2021. “We have new projects to select taking into consideration what has been achieved and what we have yet to do,” he highlighted. The task force intends to build upon the experiences and lessons learned from PIDA PAP1 projects to lay the groundwork for PIDA PAP2.
Moving into the second phase of PIDA, the Member States and RECs must first identify priority projects so that ultimately the projects reflect the needs of the main stakeholders. The Members States will propose their projects to RECs, who are required to fill out specific forms requesting key information to screen projects with the guidance of the task force before submitting it for review. Once the project identification is complete, the task force will analyze, score and prioritize the proposed projects according to the eligibility and project selection criteria. While the eligibility criteria focus on regional integration, the project selection criteria concentrate on inclusiveness and sustainability with regard to gender sensitivity, rural connectivity, and environmental friendliness. The project selection criteria also weigh the economic and financial impact of projects in terms of job creation, economic impact, bankability, smart/innovative approaches, and corridor planning.
Fifty total projects will be picked by the end of the process, ten projects per region and at least one project by sector. The screening tool, based on inputs by the taskforce, will generate a weighted overall score to measure a project’s ability to respond to the Integrated Corridor Approach for the selection. This task force training was launched with support from GIZ with the objective of PIDA PAP2 adoption by Heads of State in 2021.