The Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative - PICI

The Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative (PICI) was born out of a proposal by South Africa in 2011 to accelerate regional infrastructure development through the political championing of projects. The initiative serves as a high-level platform to put Africa on the right track towards unlocking its potential and, thus, achieving the “Africa we want," as noted in Agenda 2063.

With the active involvement of 12 championing member states, PICI stands as a solid proof of the steadfast dedication of African Heads of State and Governments towards accelerating infrastructure development through strong political support.

This crucial initiative, implemented for the welfare of the African Continent and beyond, offers a distinctive platform for high-level leadership to actively participate in the formulation and implementation of critical infrastructure projects across the continent. Through PICI, African leaders have showcased their capacity to steer key infrastructure projects, thereby making a substantial contribution to the continent’s expansion and global connectivity.


In essence, the PICI, with its focus on political leadership and accountability to the African Union, plays a crucial role in navigating challenges and driving the sustainable development of Africa’s infrastructure.

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Functions and Responsibilities of PICI

The Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative (PICI) operates strategically to expedite project execution, address bottlenecks, and mobilize investment. It serves as a catalyst for progress, championing the sustainable development of Africa’s infrastructure landscape. Here are its key functions and responsibilities.

Advocacy and coordination

The PICI advocates for projects and coordinates efforts to overcome obstacles, ensuring successful implementation.

Speedy Implementation

The PICI monitors project progress identifies potential delays, and proactively addresses issues to ensure timely completion.

Increased Investment and Resource Mobilization

The PICI leads resource mobilization efforts, engaging with various stakeholders to secure necessary funding.

Political Leadership

The PICI provides political guidance, makes key decisions, and ensures project alignment with national and regional priorities.

Reporting to the African Union

The PICI regularly reports project status and progress to the African Union, contributing to transparency and continental coordination.

Visibility, Awareness, and Knowledge Sharing

The PICI raises awareness about the benefits of the projects among stakeholders and shares experiences and lessons learned, contributing to the improvement of infrastructure development strategies.

Membership Status

As of 2023, the initiative has maintained the composition of 12-member countries with the latest being Sudan who recently joined in 2020. The membership reflects the commitment of these countries to upscale infrastructure development across the African continent. Membership is not limited to these champions. It is open for more champions in the future.

Impact of PICI

The Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative (PICI) has been instrumental in resolving obstacles that impede project progress. Through political influence and stakeholder engagement, PICI has addressed regulatory issues, funding barriers, and other challenges. A notable achievement is the implementation of “roam like home” in the East Africa region, an initiative championed by Rwanda’s ICT projects, which is now expanding to other regions.

The PICI has been instrumental in mobilizing resources and attracting investments for infrastructure development. Through strategic partnerships and engagement with government bodies and private investors, PICI projects have secured funding for project implementation for instance the Abidjan-Lagos Highway and the VICMED Projects to mention projects that have secured funding e.g., Abidjan-Lagos, VICMED, etc enabling the realization of critical infrastructure projects. AUDA-NEPAD has engaged with a wide range of development partners and financiers to raise more funds and expand the private sector engagement in the PICI implementation process. These include, among others, African Financial Corporation (AFC), African Development Bank (AfDB), Africa 50, and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA)

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