From 16th to 18th September, the African Union Commission’s Department of Infrastructure and Energy (DIE — AUC), in partnership with GIZ, NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency (NPCA), African Development Bank (AfDB) and Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) organized “the Technical Preparatory Meeting of the first PIDA Week” to be held from in Abidjan in November this year. The planning, held in Pretoria, was officiated by the NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency (NPCA) Dr Ibrahim Mayaki.
Speaking at the opening session of the meeting, Dr. Aboubakari Baba Moussa, Director of DIE — AUC gave an introductory presentation on the concept of the PIDA Week and the expected results of the preparatory meeting. “The PIDA Week, the first of its kind, will bring together all the relevant players for regional infrastructure on the continent to jointly drive forward the PIDA-PAP and its 51 programmes as the central pillars for an integrated, prosperous Africa”, Dr Baba Moussa said.
In an interview with PIDA Journalists Network, Dr Baba Moussa explained that the idea of the week comes from the necessity of harmonizing the planning and implementation levels of PIDA projects. “The theme of the week is accelerating project implementation for Africa’s integration, because we need to bring all partners together to harmonize and sped up the process of implementation” Dr Baba Moussa added.
Mrs Wynne Musabayana, Deputy Head of AU — Communication and Information Division said the PIDA Week is scheduled to be from 13th -17th November 2015 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire and it was necessary to set agree on the plans for the week. “The PIDA week will offer vital grounds to communicate on the PIDA activities. Actually our African institutions are doing a lot to drive infrastructure development that will improve the lives of ordinary Africans. We expect that the week will bring greater knowledge on the impact of the African Union through its PIDA projects under the Agenda 2063 framework”, Mrs. Musabayana said.
Addressing the meeting held in Hotel Protea Hotel Fire & Ice Menlyn, Pretoria, Mr Winfried Zarges, Infrastructure Sectorial Manager, at GIZ’s Africa Office confirmed the commitment of GIZ to support PIDA and development projects in Africa.
Ms Anna Waldmann from GIZ led the facilitation for the meeting, together with others from the PIDA partners.
Mekki Elmograbi, PIDA Journalists’ Network Coordinator said the importance of PIDA for African journalists who are supporting Agenda 2063 is that they need measurable achievements to promote and to convince the African public opinion that something is happening on the ground. “Here comes the importance of PIDA because the real challenge to Agenda 2063 is to translate political statements and commitments into concrete actions not just by envisioning several measures at regional and national levels but by integrating the targets of Agenda 2063 into planning and all implementation levels”, Mekki said.
The two day meeting finalized the concept note and agenda of the PIDA week as well as the communication activities.
PIDA provides a strategic framework for priority projects in transport, energy, ICT and trans-boundary water to transform Africa through the construction of modern infrastructure into an interconnected and integrated continent that is competitive domestically and in the global economy. By improving access to integrated regional and continental infrastructure networks, PIDA will allow countries to meet forecast demand for infrastructure services and boost competitiveness.