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|Location:||Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire|
The first-ever Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) Week will be held at the African Development Bank (AfDB) headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from November 13 to 17, 2015, under the theme “Accelerating Infrastructure Implementation for Africa’s Integration”.
PIDA is a joint initiative of the Africa Union Commission (AUC), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the AfDB. It seeks to promote regional economic integration by bridging Africa’s massive infrastructure gap that hampers the continent’s competitiveness in the global market.
The infrastructure deficit is traced to Africa’s colonization. “The delay that Africa accumulated during colonization gave to the Continent an infrastructure system that harms its own development. PIDA is a strategy to break those barriers and set continental priorities which brought consensus and commitments both at technical and political levels,” observed NEPAD Agency’s Chief Executive Officer, Ibrahim Mayaki.
The initiative provides a common framework for African stakeholders to build the infrastructure necessary to increase intra-African trade, boosting socio-economic development across the continent. PIDA estimates the cost of closing Africa’s infrastructure deficit to be about US $360 billion between 2011 and 2014, with significant investments required by 2020.
“As we open up Africa with high quality regional infrastructure – especially rail, transnational highways, information and communications, air and maritime transport – Africa will witness a phenomenal boost in intra-Africa and global trade; the entrepreneurial spirit of small and large businesses, and millions of our young people, will be unleashed,” AfDB’s President Akinwumi Adesina said during his inauguration in September 2015.
PIDA Week is expected to create synergy between different PIDA-related activities held earlier such as the meetings of the Steering Committee, the Council for Infrastructure Development (CID), the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA), the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (IPPF), and the Continental Business Network meeting.
The event will help to formulate measures that need to be addressed by African Heads of State and Government, including policy decisions necessary for tackling barriers hindering infrastructure development. It will also discuss private sector contributions to project implementation.
PIDA Week will include panel discussions on gender and inclusive infrastructure development; PIDA’s role in the realization of Agenda 2063; a high-level dialogue on the effects of job creation on infrastructure development; and a roundtable with partners on PIDA’s Service Delivery Mechanism (SDM), among other events.
Approximately 150 participants are expected at the event, including infrastructure commissioners from the African Union, infrastructure experts from development institutions, regional economic communities, the United Nations, and the private sector.