African Energy and Infrastructure Development Spotlighted at Dubai Expo 2020
On 31 October – 1 November 2021 high level decision-makers and thought leaders from Africa shared their views and visions on how to transform and engage the infrastructure and energy sectors and actors in Africa to deliver effective results.
The event “Spotlight on Africa – Infrastructure Development” convened by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) and held at the Dubai Exhibition Centre at Expo 2020 was opened by his Excellency Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga, African Union Higher Representative on Infrastructure Development in Africa.
Mr. Odinga stressed the importance of cooperation for achieving the continent’s development goals and said that “appropriate infrastructure is a prerequisite for implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). However, the lack of well prepared and bankable infrastructure projects has been a major constraint. This is why we are working with AUDA-NEPAD, AfDB and other partners in the NEPAD Project Preparation Facility, encouraging strategic partnerships with the private sector.”
Regional integration is key for a prosperous Africa
The recently adopted second PIDA Priority Action Plan, PIDA-PAP 2 (2021-2030), was highlighted as a vehicle for prioritising regional infrastructure projects. The PIDA-PAP2 has adopted what is called an Integrated Corridor Approach that aims to work for a prosperous Africa by emphasising projects that maximise job creation and climate friendliness and prioritise projects that improve connectivity between urban and rural areas and link different infrastructure sectors in order to improve continental integration.
Mr Amine Adoum, Director of Programme Delivery and Coordination Directorate at AUDA-NEPAD, said that regional integration is key for realising the goals of Agenda 2063 and noted that “energy corridors are also important, hence we are working towards implementing the Continental Power System Master Plan. Three tools that have been developed to accelerate infrastructure projects rollout are: the Service Delivery Mechanism, the Continental Business Network (validated by the African Union), and the publishing of de-risking infrastructure projects in Africa reports.”
Atef Marzouk, outgoing Acting Director of Infrastructure and Energy at the AUC, stressed the importance of the continent wide approach that the AUC is promoting, including the African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) adopted by the AU Head of States at the 34th AU-Summit in February 2021 and launched on 3 June 2021.
The PIDA PAP II consist of 28 transport projects, 18 energy projects, 12 water projects, and 11 Information Communication Technology projects. However, energy plays a pivotal role in the other three sectors as well.
Read more about “Spotlight on Africa” at Expo 2020 Dubai at: Spotlight on Africa | African Union Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai (au.int)