7th PIDA Week Highlights Importance of Accelerating Infrastructure Development in Africa
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic and social consequences that have disproportionately affected Africa, the 7th PIDA Week highlighted how Africa can lead the way in the delivery of infrastructure to support the economic and social imperatives of the continent in the digital age. The 7th PIDA Week was hosted in Nairobi, Kenya through a hybrid format from 28th February to 2nd March 2022. Under the theme ‘Putting Africa on a Firm Footing for Recovery, Growth, and Resilience through Infrastructure’, the conference brought together international and regional expertise from multiple stakeholders to deliberate on the issues around infrastructure delivery in Africa.
The three-day event emphasised that the implementation of regional infrastructure projects under PIDA is essential for putting Africa on a firm footing for recovery, growth, and resilience. In a final communique participants of the PIDA Week acknowledged the importance of the adoption of the second phase of the PIDA Priority Action Plan (PIDA PAP 2), the 2021-2030 action plan containing 69 priority projects. Advancing PIDA PAP 2 is key for coordinating and accelerating the implementation of priority infrastructure projects and addressing challenges regarding the large funding gap related to various risks such as project bankability and preparation.
The critical role of the African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) and the Continental Power System Master Plan (CMP) was also highlighted to better track and assess financial investments in infrastructure development in Africa. Considering that the five regions of Africa are at different levels of market, regulatory, technical, and operational readiness for implementing AfSEM, the PIDA Week participants called for the strengthening of institutional and governmental capacities in the implementation of AfSEM, including the operationalisation of the AfSEM Coordination Unit within the African Union Commission (AUC), to further accelerate the integration of the energy sector in line with the AU Agenda 2063.