IE Banner

PIDA Implementation Policy Dialogue Kicks off on a High Note

Dates: 
December 19, 2018

PIDA Implementation Policy Dialogue Kicks off on a High Note

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, December 19, 2018: The inaugural Policy Dialogue on facilitating the implementation of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) took off today at the Headquarters of the African Union Commission and highlighted the achievements of the Programme to date.

The Three Day Dialogue, which is being held under the theme “Regional and Continental infrastructure to unlock access to rural and remote areas of Africa” has attracted more than 200 PIDA stakeholders from across the continent to discuss critical issues of enhancing infrastructure development at a continental level.

While addressing the plenary, the African Union Commission Director for Infrastructure and Energy, Mr. Cheikh Bedda highlighted that the Policy Dialogue is happening at a strategic time in the life of PIDA. The implementation of the first phase, running from 2012 to 2020, has almost reached its end, engagement is well underway in the implementation of PIDA, and negotiations are ongoing for the next phase of PIDA's Priority Action Plan (PIDA-PAP).

The Director acknowledged and appreciated the Chairpersons of the African Union H.E. Alpha Conde and H.E. Paul Kagame for their commitment and support to infrastructure Development in Africa, and H.E. Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi, who is to take the reins of African Union in 2019.

"Because 60% of Africans live in rural areas, far away from normal economic activities, we lobby for remote area dwellers to benefit from PIDA," uttered Mr. Bedda.

He alluded to the fact that, as much as there is investment in infrastructure development, the investment must help create an African market to benefit Africans. He further appealed to the AU Member States to have norms and standards to allow major airlines to service their countries.

Representing the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Mr Robert Lisinge noted that the Dialogue is vital as it comes at a time of the preparation for the next phase of PIDA.

He informed the plenary that the three issues which have the potential to be game changer in the implementation of PIDA including strengthening the interface between institutional arrangements at the regional and national levels; facilitating dialogue between African countries and development partners, particularly financial institutions; and leveraging infrastructure with non-African countries.

Speaking of win-win principle on partnership, Mr. Lisinge opined "Often our partners from outside Africa have identified what win in the partnership mean for them. Africa also need to authenticate what win means for it. In this regard, the Continent should send a strong message that win for it, means implementation of PIDA projects."

He further assured of UNECA's unwavering support for the PIDA project. Still on that note, he pointed out that PIDA financial requirements cannot be achieved by governments alone, and urged for stepping up of efforts to bring aboard the private sector, especially through innovative financing mechanisms. He appealed to the governments of African to create necessary policies, legal instruments, regulations and institutional frameworks to enhance and attract private sector involvement in cross border infrastructure.

Speaking on behalf of the African Development Bank, Mr. Emmanuel Chisesa noted that the Bank is committed to PIDA implementation as PIDA provides a common framework for Africa stakeholders to build the infrastructure necessary for more integrated transport, energy, ICT and transboundary water networks to boost trade, spark growth and create jobs.

"It goes without saying that there is need for all of us to appreciate the continental importance of PIDA for the African Continent and the need to ensure that all projects under PIDA-PAP are brought to financial close before PIDA phase two is operationalized," Mr. Chisesa noted.

He further mentioned that PIDA implementation is vital for transforming the way Africa is doing business, help deliver a connected Africa as well as help in the building of the African economic community as outlined in the 1991 Abuja treaty.

Mr. Chisesa says emphasized that the African Development Bank came up with new business delivery model to bring it services even closer, to enhance efficiency and delivery via the strategic priorities through the high fives being light and power Africa, feed Africa, integrate Africa, industrialize Africa and improve the quality of life for Africans. He assured that the Bank will continue to be active with a strong commitment in PIDA governance arrangement and statutory organs, supporting inclusive work on harmonization of continental policies and regulatory frameworks, putting more focus and allocating more resources for project preparation.

The three-day Policy Dialogue, which is being held for the first time, aims to provide a platform for PIDA stakeholders to create synergies between the different implementation institutions, regional and continental and other stakeholders.

The meeting is organized by the African Union Commission in collaboration with the NEPAD Agency, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank.

For Media Inquiries, please contact:
Sophia Nesri | PIDA Information Analyst | Department of Infrastructure and Energy | African Union Commission I E-mail: sophian@africa-union.org