- In the periphery of the PIDA Week in Cairo, Egypt, a joint Thematic Working Group (TWG) on Infrastructure and Energy has been launched by the African Union Commission (AUC), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), under the Joint Secretariat Support Office (JSSO) platform.
A Working Group is born
Built on the understanding that infrastructure is the bedrock for development and regional integration, PIDA is the African Union's Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa. 'PIDA Week' is the flagship advocacy and marketing event for PIDA, with the cross-cutting nature of the programme's goals acknowledged in this year's theme: 'positioning Africa to deliver Agenda 2063 and economic integration through multi-sectoral approaches to infrastructure development.'
Coming into being in the side-lines of PIDA Week 2019, the Working Group will be a platform to centralise knowledge, in order to achieve coordinated and strategic action planning. Comprised of multilateral team, it will leverage synergies between the three Pan-African institutions. Such a platform stands to significantly accelerate the implementation of jointly prioritized initiatives, including Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030.
In fact, the Working Group will serve as the main co-ordination platform under the JSSO framework, facilitating: information sharing, best practice sharing, collaboration and partnerships. In spurring efficient implementation of jointly prioritized infrastructure programmes, the group is 'oil in the wheels' for Africa's socio-economic development, growth and transformation.
The launch of a new consortium
At the launch, the Head of Energy Division of the AUC, Mr. Atef Marzouk, represented the AUC's Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, H.E. Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, conveying that:
"Infrastructure development is a key driver for progress across the African continent, and a critical enabler for productivity and sustainable economic growth."
Having acknowledged infrastructure as being a linchpin for development and regional integration, he went on to comment on the PIDA programme, clarifying that it was designed to promote joint planning and programming for improved regional infrastructure development, and emphasizing how this supports continental integration in Africa. He highlighted that launch of the TWG will enhance the three Pan-African Institutions' delivery of PIDA's Priority Action Plan (PIDA, PAP 2) - as well as other continental initiatives.
ECA's Chief of the Energy, Infrastructure and Services Section, Robert Lisinge re-affirmed ECA's full commitment and support for the TWG. He says that the decision to establish and launch the TWG is timely given the upcoming joint initiatives, mentioning PIDA PAP2 and the Africa Road Safety Action Plan, as well as infrastructure partnerships in general.
The launch event also established that the group will enhance strategic partnerships among key players outside of the three 'parent' institutions (AUC, ECA and AfDB), with plans to work closely with African Union Development Agency (AUDA, formerly and NEPAD), Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and their Member States.
As well as flagship Agenda 2063 and the PIDA, PAP 2, the TWG will focus on its work on supporting the implementation of the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM); INGA Dam; and Africa Integrated High Speed Railway.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Mr. Lamin Barrow, Director, JSSO, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Ms. Temnit Tadesse, Programme Management Assistant, JSSO, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Abibu Tamu, Senior Programme Officer, JSSO, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2019 PIDA Week