PIDA ends with calls on Africa to accelerate implementation of game-changing infrastructure projects

African Ministers and delegates at the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) have concluded that in order to accelerate solutions to Africa’s infrastructure gaps, they must be taken seriously if Africa is to realise the aspirations of its people as enshrined in the continent’s blueprint for development, Agenda 2063 and the global agenda for sustainable development.

The meeting was held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Addressing attendees, Zimbabwe’s State Minister for Matebeleland North Province, Richard Moyo said the acceleration would add impetus to the continent’s integration process.

“We need to have the right infrastructure mix and align our national infrastructural projects to the PIDA programme for collective gain.”

Mr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, NEPAD Chief Executive Officer, stressed the need to continue holding a constructive dialogue with all the partners, including the private sector so that they can deliver concretely.

For his part, the African Union’s Infrastructure Director, Mr. Cheik Bedda emphasized the importance of good governance to promote infrastructural development that will positively impact the continent’s economies.

Representatives of the European Union and the GIZ, a major partner to NEPAD and its partners in the PIDA programme, also spoke in support of Africa’s quest for an integrated infrastructure network.

“Big change is on the way for Africa through PIDA and we have to stay the course. Huge investments are required for it to become a reality. We as GIZ are with you. There are also huge opportunities in terms of human capital as well for the continent at all levels,” said GIZ African Union Office Director, Ms. Inge Baumgarten.

The meeting emphasized the need to increase projects under construction from the current 32 to 50 percent if Africa is to achieve its developmental aspirations and create an enabling environment for the private sector to have space to buy into the continent’s key priority projects.

Speaking about the “bankable and smart infrastructure with cross border orientation”, delegates urged governments to proactively involve all stakeholders in particular communities so that projects are inclusive and true enablers for development.

Delegates further noted that for the continent to realize NEPAD’s 5 percent Agenda and the African Infrastructure Guarantee Mechanism (AIGM), governments should establish specific working groups for PIDA projects that will focus on data transparency and dissemination; advocacy work; project development; review and funding; partnerships and capacity building.

The Delegates also pledged to launch and use the PIDA Job Creation Toolkit as a part of the package and means to attract and convince pertinent stakeholders, including financiers and development partners on the benefits of key PIDA priority projects in the construction phase.

The PIDA Quality Label received recognition as a framework needed to ensure projects fulfill set criteria.

On the PIDA PAP 2 (2020-2030) that draws from the ongoing review and consultative process and ensure that it is has a realistic list of projects, they recommended that it should be inclusive of all sectors as well as a strong strategy to communicate progress on priority PIDA projects and facilitate sharing of lessons and experiences on the implementation of PIDA projects.

The partners, including the African Union Commission (AUC), NEPAD Agency, the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), vowed to continue working together to put in place sustainable capacity building mechanisms for key infrastructure sectors on the continent and to invest in efforts to accelerate development of key infrastructure projects. -