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AU Summit Identifies Key Priority Infrastructure Projects


Heads of State of the African Union Assembly, who met from 30-31 January 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, endorsed key priority projects identified by the NEPAD High-Level Sub-Committee on Infrastructure.

The projects identified and their respective champions are as follows:

The Missing Link of the Trans Sahara Highway Project and the Optical Fibre Project along the same alignment


The Kinshasa-Brazzaville Road Rail Bridge Project

The Republic of Congo

 Water Management, River and Rail Transport Infrastructure projects


The Nigeria- Algeria gas pipeline project


ICT Broadband and Link to Fibre Optic Network into neighbouring states


Dakar-Ndjamena-Djibouti Rail and Road project


The North South Corridor Rail and Road Projects

South Africa

These projects were identified based on the AU-NEPAD Africa Action Plan and in line with Programme for Infrastructure Development for Africa (PIDA), a programme led by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The AfDB attended the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Committee on the sides of the 16th African Union Summit in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, from 28-31 January 2011.. The previous summit had established the NEPAD High-Level Sub-Committee on Infrastructure (8 Heads of State and Government) comprising South Africa as chair, Algeria, Benin, Egypt, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Senegal.

This Sub-Committee was mandated to prioritise and consolidate infrastructure projects for high impact and results; as well as approve modalities and procedures for championing infrastructure projects by specific Heads of State and Government.

During a run-up meeting to the AU Summit, President Jacob Zuma presented a report detailing the recent steps taken, namely; that the criteria for selecting projects and champions were concluded; that projects were identified based on the AU-NEPAD Africa Action Plan and in line with Programme for Infrastructure Development for Africa (PIDA) as a strategic framework; and that respective champions were selected.

The PIDA, an AfDB-led programme expected to be concluded by the end of 2011, will lead to design and development of the short, medium and long-term investment programs, addressing infrastructure needs in all key infrastructure sectors (transport, energy, ICT & trans-boundary water) up to 2040. It will serve as a platform to unify and coordinate actions by all key stakeholders, including regional member countries themselves, regional economic communities, infrastructure sector specialized institutions, private sector and development partners.

The Heads of State also witnessed the formal launch of the revised AU/NEPAD African Action Plan (AAP), which the AfDB financed and managed in collaboration with the AU Commission and NEPAD Agency. The AAP’s objective is to develop an improved strategic framework, prioritisation of programs/projects and updated cost estimates for the interventions therein.

“The launch of the AAP and emergence of political champions for a subset of its projects puts the continent on the right track for bridging some of its acute deficits in regional interconnectivity,” said Alex Rugamba, AfDB Regional Integration Director. “These concrete realisations will pave the way for a shared vision around agreed priority projects and policy frameworks, which will be crystallized in the PIDA study. This bodes well for the creation of an integrated African economy that will enable the continent to unleash its true potential,” he added.

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