The 2017 Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) Week was held from 10 to 14 December in Swakopmund, Namibia under the theme “Enhancing Trade and Economic Transformation through Regional Infrastructure Development”.
Organized by the African Union Commission (AUC), the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in collaboration with the Namibian Government and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), PIDA Week aims to build on the achievements of the 2015 and 2016 meetings in Abidjan and the momentum created in the previous two events to continue to engage stakeholders on the effective delivery of infrastructure on the continent.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, H.E. Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission said that about 500 delegates were expected in Walvis Bay to discuss how to create synergies and mobilise support in the implementation of African Union’s Agenda 2063 infrastructure projects in Africa, with a particular emphasis on PIDA.
“Delegates gathering in Swakopmund for the Third PIDA Week have addressed several important issues, with a view to moving PIDA projects from conception to implementation and pushing Agenda 2063’s infrastructure goals for Africa,” Dr Amani Abou-Zeid stated.
“This event has offered an opportunity for delegates to unpack the enormous growth potential of increasing the visibility of PIDA projects and validating the relevance of corridors and thereby facilitating the continent’s economic transformation, harnessed to the benefit of our people,” the Commissioner added.
On his part, NEPAD Agency’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki stated that “Accelerating the development of Africa’s regional infrastructure could be the game changer that will trigger industrialisation and create jobs. It is for this reason that African leaders developed the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) in 2012, as the means for socio-economic growth and intra-African trade.”
Khaled Sherif, Vice-President – Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery reaffirmed the African Development Bank’s strong commitment to infrastructure development in the continent stating that infrastructure promotes trade and creates a conducive environment for investments and business.
He applauded the significant strides made by PIDA implementing partners in promoting trade and economic transformation through regional infrastructure development, adding that the Bank aims to attract more capital into the infrastructure sector by helping governments structure transactions to contribute to the financing of infrastructure.
Vice President Khaled stated that expectations are high that this meeting will provide a fresh impetus towards PIDA implementation. Similarly, he alluded to the fact that “Co-financing and partnerships remain critical towards mobilising more resources for PIDA implementation.”
PIDA Week was inaugurated in 2015 as a platform for PIDA stakeholders and the first two events have been held in Abidjan under the auspices of the African Development Bank. The event will provide a platform for stakeholders to engage in accelerating and synergising their efforts to: (1) accelerate projects preparation and implementation;(2) mobilise adequate financial and technical resources for projects; (3) increase private sector participation in PIDA implementation; and (4) mobilise Member States to integrate the PIDA projects into their national development plans.
Additionally, statutory closed meetings under the Institutional Architecture for Infrastructure Development (IAIDA) and the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (IPPF) meetings were held during the Week. PIDA Week also focused on accelerating all PIDA Projects with specific emphasis on five selected projects and a site visit to Walvis Bay.
The meeting was attended by various stakeholders including AUC, NPCA, AfDB, and UNECA, Member States, development partners, Financial Institutions, private sector, civil society and members of the media.
Copyright: Uzo Madu