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NEPAD, Regional Integration & Trade Department (ONRI)

Regional Integration is at the core of the Bank’s mandate, which led to creating ONRI in 2006 to support the implementation of the NEPAD programme. The Department was subsequently transformed into the NEPAD, Regional Integration and Trade Department, under the Infrastructure, Private Sector, NEPAD and Regional Integration Vice-Presidency (OIVP). ONRI is responsible for advancing regional infrastructure development under the NEPAD Initiative, promoting regional integration, building trade capacity and strengthening the Bank’s relationship with its stakeholders and partners.

ONRI’s work is anchored on the Regional Integration Strategy (RIS), 2009-2012/2013 and the Regional Integration Strategy Papers (RISPs). The operations of the Department are aligned to the following pillars of the RIS/RISPs:

  • Regional Infrastructure
    • Formulation and review of strategic frameworks;
    • Support to development corridors;
    • Regional projects preparation and investment.
  • Institutional Capacity Building
    • Rationalization of Regional Economic Communities (RECs);
    • Strengthening of regional and national institutions;
    • Trade facilitation and capacity building).
  • Partnerships and Cross-Cutting Issues
    • Aid for Trade;
    • Regional financial integration.

To deliver on these pillars, the Department is structured into three divisions:

  • ONRI.1: NEPAD Division;
  • ONRI.2: Regional Integration and Trade Division; and
  • The IPPF Division (Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility).

ONRI also hosts the ICA Secretariat (Infrastructure Consortium for Africa), an initiative of the G8 which acts as a platform to catalyse donors and private sector financing of infrastructure projects and programmes in Africa.

Regional integration cuts across all spheres of the Bank’s work. Therefore, to deliver on its mandate, ONRI works closely with all other departments of the Bank.

ONRI.1 – NEPAD Division

With the vision of One Africa, the NEPAD (ONRI.1) Division’s main goal is to improve the continent’s connectivity by narrowing the gap of regional electricity backbone infrastructure. Effective cross-border infrastructure is indispensable for Africa’s economic integration and competitiveness. As such, this division supports the Bank’s sectorial and regional departments to mainstream regional integration into Bank operations across the work stream of strategy, project preparation, and monitoring and evaluation.

One of this division’s key priorities is to promote accelerated delivery of PIDA (Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa) in partnership with the African Union Commission, the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Regional Member Countries (RMCs) and other development partners. PIDA is a continental initiative being implemented under the auspices of the AU in partnership with the Bank and NPCA. Endorsed by African governments in January 2012, PIDA provides a common framework for regional infrastructure development up to the year 2040 through the PIDA Priority Action Plan (PAP). This lays out 51 priority projects by 2020 in energy, transport, information and communication technology, and trans-boundary water at an investment cost of USD 67.9 billion.

ONRI.2 – Regional Integration & Trade Division

The Regional Integration and Trade Division (ONRI.2) has as its main objective facilitating both trade and financial integration for RMCs and RECs. As such, the division focuses on what is known as “soft infrastructure” from policy reform to harmonization of procedures, and removal of non-tariff barriers to trade, especially among the various transport corridors.

In addition, the division provides advisory services and develops programmes to help RMCs and RECs improve their capacity to implement both trade and financial integration programmes. 

In delivering these programmes and projects, the division works closely with the infrastructure sector departments as well as the Bank’s nine regional departments. What’s more, the division is responsible for the Bank’s interface with both African and international institutions, including the Africa Union, UNECA, the WTO, ITC, UNCTAD, WCO, the other MDBs, donors, and the G20 processes, among others. 

The division also hosts the Africa Trade Fund (AfTra) which was set up in response to Africa’s need for greater integration into regional and global trading systems. This requires a comprehensive approach involving actions at the firm, country and regional levels. The main objective of AfTra is to boost trade and trade-related activities in Africa.

NEPAD-IPPF – Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility

IPPF is a multi-donor trust fund created in 2005 that currently has five donors – Canada, Denmark, UK, Germany and Spain. Denmark and the UK have also given support to IPPF with technical assistance experts.

The Fund provides grants and expertise to help African stakeholders and the private sector prepare bankable, priority regional infrastructure projects in energy, transport, ICT, and trans-boundary water resources for financing from public and private sources.

Today, due to a shortage of bankable regional projects creating a bottleneck for the delivery of regional infrastructure in Africa, IPPF is of greater relevance than ever before. IPPF is firmly integrated into African institutional structures.  African stakeholders have made it clear that IPPF is the continent’s leading regional infrastructure project preparation fund that will continue to drive regional infrastructure preparation in line with African priorities.

Since its approval in January 2012, The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), which is a continental initiative to build political consensus around a priority roadmap of regional integration infrastructure projects, is the main guiding document for project prioritisation by the fund.

The Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA)

The G8 launched the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) during the Gleneagles Summit in 2005. Its role is to help improve the lives and economic well-being of Africa’s people through encouraging, supporting and promoting increased investment in infrastructure in Africa, from both public and private sources. Using its convening power, ICA acts as a catalyst to enhance, accelerate and precipitate the development of Africa’s infrastructure.

ICA also works to help remove some of the technical and policy challenges and barriers to building more infrastructures and to co-ordinate better the activities of its members and other significant sources of infrastructure finance, such as China, India and Arab partners.

ICA is not a financing agency. Instead, it acts as a platform to catalyse donor and private sector financing of infrastructure projects and programmes in Africa across the four infrastructure pillars of water, energy, transportation and ICT.

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