Meeting Defines Modalities for Accelerating PIDA Implementation
The Bank, under the auspices of its a NEPAD, Regional Integration and Trade Department (ONRI), hosted a meeting in Tunis on 13 and 14 June 2013 to define measures to accelerate the implementation of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).
The meeting was based on the work being undertaken by Aurecon, an African-based international consulting firm. Aurecon has been recruited by the Bank to help unpack the 51 PIDA Priority Action Plan (PIDA-PAP) programmes and projects into manageable sub-components that will facilitate better planning to move the projects to preparation, bankability and subsequently, financing.
The meeting was attended by the African Union Commission (AUC), whose delegation was led by Mr. Aboubakari Baba-Moussa, Director of Infrastructure and Energy, and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD/NPCA) whose delegation was led Mr. Adama Deen, Head of Infrastructure. The complex-wide event brought together ONRI and other Bank departments, notably, OITC, ONEC and OWAS which coordinate the PIDA Task Forces in Transport/ICT, Energy and Water, respectively. These are the four infrastructure sectors covered by PIDA in line with the “One-Bank” approach to delivering multi-sectoral programmes.
Addressing the meeting, Mr. Baba Moussa said “PIDA is one of the priority continental initiatives which has the highest political commitment having been approved by African Heads of State and Government at their Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2012”.
Co-managed by the Bank, the AUC and NPCA, PIDA is a continental strategic framework to transform Africa through the development of modern infrastructure. PIDA seeks to inter-connect and integrate Africa through a series of “Infrastructure Superhighways”. Power inter-connector projects such as those between Kenya and Ethiopia, and Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya (ZTK) will provide “Power Superhighways” which will interconnect Africa’s electricity grids, ensuring that power is traded across Africa. The ICT terrestrial networks will connect to the sub-marine cable systems now surrounding Africa to create “Information Superhighways” linked to Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) to improve communication and broad band capacity and access across Africa.
Projects such as the Southern African Hub Port and Railway Programme and the West African Hub Port and Railway Programmes will provide “Transport Superhighways” also called “Smart Corridors” because they will integrate transport, ICT and trade facilitation interventions such as One-Stop-Border Posts, making access for the international trade for land-locked countries quicker and cheaper, enhancing competitiveness while supporting deeper regional integration and increased intra-regional trade. PIDA is set to transform Africa and the Bank is positioned to play a catalytic role in making this transformational initiative a reality.