The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa - PIDA

Infrastructure serves as the bedrock for development in Africa, significantly contributing to economic growth, poverty reduction, and achieving sustainable development goals. It is crucial for increased regional trade, integration, and the realisation of Africa’s long-term vision outlined in Agenda 2063 and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). However, the continent continues to face a substantial infrastructure gap that hinders social and economic progress, with an estimated annual investment shortfall of up to USD 108 billion. Africa is the second largest continent, with a population of 1.34 billion in 2021 and projected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. Africa must produce goods and services for domestic consumption and global trade to achieve sustainable economic growth and improve living standards. Inadequate infrastructure is a significant obstacle for Africa in capitalising on emerging conditions for trade, growth, and job creation. Insufficient infrastructure, both in quantity and quality, increases production and transaction costs, reduces business competitiveness, and hinders economic and social development. It also creates an unfavourable business environment, making it less attractive for foreign direct investment. Limited service options and reduced quality of infrastructure affect vulnerable segments of the population.

Background, Objectives and Evolution
Background of PIDA

Individual efforts by African countries to develop infrastructure have faced significant funding deficits due to the high costs involved. African countries, through the African Union and regional economic communities, have adopted the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) to address these inadequacies and enhance connectivity. PIDA aims to spearhead physical infrastructure development in transport, energy, ICT, and transboundary water resources. The programme focuses on efficient project preparation, implementation, and operation to deliver the required services and improve living standards. Recognising the critical role of infrastructure in development, the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) has been entrusted with coordinating the planning, resource mobilisation, and implementation of PIDA. AUDA-NEPAD collaborates closely with individual states, the African Union Commission (AUC), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), AfDB, UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Pan African Institutions, Development Partners, and other relevant stakeholders involved in infrastructure development. AUDA-NEPAD aims to drive infrastructure advancement across Africa by working with these entities.

Upon the relaunch of the OAU into AU in 2002, the AU, through the then New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), embarked on a comprehensive programme for enhancing continental connectivity in transport, energy, ICT and transboundary water resources. This was undertaken by formulating the Short-Term Action Plan (STAP), adopted in 2002. The STAP comprised a limited number of projects identified, selected, and prioritised for rapid mplementation.

The STAP, a short-term action plan, should have been followed by a Medium to Long-Term Strategic Framework (MLTSF) to articulate policies and strategies, outline priorities and contribute to establishing partnerships to promote economic integration and support the development of trade and commerce. The MLTSF was eventually transformed into the PIDA after extensive studies and consultations. The development of PIDA was completed in 2012, and it was adopted as a long-term rolling programme based on elaborate studies with wide stakeholder consultations to establish priorities together with robust institutional structures for the implementation of programmes and projects.

Learn More about PIDA
Our Vision and Objectives

PIDA is grounded in regional and continental master plans and action plans as well as other relevant work undertaken by the African Union (AU), the regional economic communities (RECs), the regional and continental technical agencies (including the lake and river basin organisations (L/RBO) and power pools (PP)), and the concerned countries. The proposed infrastructure development programme articulates short- (2020), medium- (2030), and long-term (2040) priorities for meeting identified infrastructure gaps in a manner consistent with the agreed strategic framework - based on long-term social and economic development visions, strategic objectives, and sector policies - and buttressed by an implementation strategy for the Priority Action Plans (PAP). PIDA is a programme focused on four different infrastructure sectors aiming at a wide range of objectives:


To develop efficient, reliable, affordable and environmentally friendly energy networks and increase access to modern energy services. Clean power generation and transmission, high-capacity oil and gas pipelines and renewable energy projects can all fall under the PIDA’s energy sector tag.


To promote and enhance integrated water resource management by developing transboundary water infrastructure and strengthening institutions for efficient cooperation on shared water resources.


To enable the free movement of goods and people through efficient, safe, affordable and reliable transport services. It includes roads, railways, ports, airports, and related transport services projects.

Information and Communication Technology

To improve the access of all Africans to reliable and affordable ICT networks, meeting Africa’s demand for affordable broadband, increasing access and security to internet services and
promoting intra-African e-commerce.

PIDA PAP1 comprises 51 cross-border infrastructure programmes, including over 400 projects to be developed by 2020. PIDA PAP2 is made up of 69 projects for the period 2021-2030. PIDA and its first Priority Action Plan (PIDA PAP1) was adopted by the African Heads of State and Government at the AU in 2012, covering the period 2012-2020. Relevant milestones of PIDA are shown in the timeline below:

January 2012

January 2012
Adoption of the Programme for Infrastructure Development In Africa (PIDA)

During the 18th ordinary session of the AU Summit, African Heads of State and Government adopted the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) as strategic framework for regional infrastructure.The PIDA Priority Action Plan (PIDA­ PAP) comprises 51 cross-border programmes covering the four sectors transport, energy, and ICT as well as trans-boundary water resources management. Regional infrastructure is pivotal in increasing intra-African trade and improving the continent’s competitiveness in the world market. Hence,PIDA substantially contributes to the socio- economic development of an integrated Africa.

Adoption of the Institutional Architecture for Infrastructure Development in Africa (IAIDA)

As a strategic framework,IAIDA assigns roles and responsibilities to ensure a coordinated,speedy and efficient implementation of PIDA.

September 2011

September 2011
Publication of the PIDA study on growth and demand

Providing a macro-outlook for infrastructure demand in each of the four sectors (transport,energy,and ICT as well as trans-boundary water resources management) until 2040, the study serves as the basis for the prioritisation of regional infrastructure programmes. i.e. for PIDA.

Case Study: PIDA objectives and regional integration

PIDA is based on a shared vision of regional integration and a long-term agenda that will support the objectives of the Abuja Treaty
that established the African Union. It is further expected to achieve the following:

- Reducing transport costs and boosting intra-African trade with transport efficiency gains totalling approximately USD 172 billion in the African Regional Transport Integration Network (ARTIN) and potential for more significant savings as trade corridors open;

- Reducing energy costs and increasing access, enabling Africa to reap savings on electricity production costs of USD 30
billion annually through 2040. Power access is planned to rise from 39% in 2009 to nearly 70% in 2040, providing access to
an additional 800 million people;

- Increasing global broadband connectivity by increasing broadband penetration by 10%, which is expected to will increase GDP by 1% by strengthening connections between goods and markets and between people and jobs; and
- Ensuring water and food security in Africa which has the lowest water storage capacity and irrigated agriculture in the world, and about where half the continent faces water stress or water scarcity

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