The week of November 21-25, 2016, brought together stakeholders from Africa and internationally, as well as from the public and private sector at the African Development Bank (AfDB) headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, to review progress in the implementation of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), Africa’s flagship infrastructure initiative approved by African Heads of State in January 2012 in Addis, Ababa, Ethiopia.
PIDA has a short- to medium-term, as well as a long-term investment plan to build interlinked and interconnected highways, modern railway systems, electricity grids, upgraded ports and airports and to create a single African airspace. The PIDA Priority Action Plan (PIDA-PAP) to be realized over the 10-year period, 2011-2020, comprises an investment portfolio of US $68 billion, while the longer-term plan to be realized by 2040 has an investment portfolio of US $360 billion. It must be emphasized that this is only for priority regional projects to integrate and interconnect Africa and does not constitute Africa’s total infrastructure needs.
Participants to the PIDA Week, who included Dr. Elham Ibrahim, the Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission (AUC); and Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, the Chief Executive Officer of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Planning Agency, commended financiers especially the African Development Bank (AfDB), for their support in the financing of PIDA infrastructure projects. They both observed, however, that, while there is evidence of growing volumes of international capital seeking investment opportunities in Africa, there was a dire need to translate PIDA into bankable and “investment-ready” projects attractive to both public-private-partnerships (PPPs) and private-sector financing. They observed that the catalyst for achieving this, was for donors and African countries themselves, to commit more resources to project preparation and development as this was currently the most critical gap to unlocking investments for infrastructure in Africa.
In this regard, Dr. Mayaki said, “Today, I would like to talk to you about NEPAD-IPPF (NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility), which is an extremely important organ for African development, as it helps building essential infrastructure on the continent. That multi-donor special fund is managed by the African Development Bank on behalf of NEPAD Agency, and is aligned to major continental initiatives such as the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), the priority framework to bridge Africa’s infrastructure gap.”
During the same week, the NEPAD-IPPF Oversight Committee, or Board, held its 25th meeting at the AfDB headquarters in Abidjan on November 24, 2016. Present at the meeting were donors providing financial support to the NEPAD-IPPF Special Fund, including Canada, Germany, the UK and Spain. The meeting was also attended by the AUC and NEPAD Agency, who are also members of the NEPAD-IPPF OC, as well as Senior Management of the AfDB.
The Special Fund is currently undergoing replenishment for the new financing cycle, 2016-2020, as it is replenished every five years. Over the next five years up to 2020, NEPAD-IPPF seeks to double its financing from the current US $100 million to US $250 million and, based on past performance, this should enable the Special Fund to prepare up to 100 regional infrastructure projects in energy, transport, ICT and trans-boundary water to unlock potential investments of up US $25 billion.