Africa’s ministers meet on infrastructure projects


Africa’s Infrastructure ministers meet virtually on December 15 to validate a priority list of projects under the second phase of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA-PAP2).

Ministers will convene under the first extra-ordinary meeting of the Specialised Technical Committee on Transport, Intercontinental and Inter regional Infrastructures, Energy and Tourism (STC-TTIIET) under the theme, Africa’s Infrastructure Priorities 2020-2030. 

The ministers meeting will be preceded by the experts meeting on December 14. PIDA is a continental drive to build cross border infrastructure projects and is being spearheaded by the African Union Commission (AUC) in partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the AU’s development agency, AUDA-NEPAD.

PAP2 includes73 potential regional infrastructure projects in the Energy, Transport, Trans-Boundary Water, and ICT sectors which have been prioritised from a longlist of over 240 projects proposed by sectoral experts from the member states, Regional Economic Communities, and Specialised Institutions.  

The list, along with strategic documents such as PIDA PAP2 implementation strategy, financing strategy, and partnership strategy, will be submitted to the Assembly of the African Union Heads of State and Government in February 2021 for adoption.

AUC Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy Amani Abou-Zeid said the STC-TEIIET was an important juncture as it “sets Africa’s infrastructure priorities for the next decade”.

She said the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has amplified the need for Africa to focus on inclusive and sustainable infrastructure development.

“The pandemic has demonstrated that Africa’s infrastructure needs to prepare for massive calamities and reverse the devastating impacts of future catastrophes, as this would not be the last one. We have both the instruments and the determination to make this happen. It is now high time to join hands to make the best out of our infrastructure development programmes,” Abou-Zeid said.

The ministers meeting is also expected to discuss and validate the policy, roadmap, and governance structure of the African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM).

AfSEM is anticipated to be launched in February 2021 during the African Union Assembly of the Heads of State and Government.

AfSEM’s first phase is projected to be achieved as early as 2023 and is expected to go fully operational by 2040.

The STC-TIIIET also provides a platform to follow-up on the implementation of the ‘Covid-19 Emergency Action Plan for Resilience and Recovery, which was adopted by the Bureau of the STC in May2020.

The emergency action plan sets out priority measures for African Union, its member states, and partners to adequately respond to the Covid-19 pandemic in the short, medium, and long-term.

Ministers responsible for energy, transport, Transboundary Water, ICT, and tourism as well as the experts from the AU Member States, African Union, Specialised Institutions, International Organisations and development partners will attend this high-level event.

One of the projects under PIDA is the US$4.6bn Batoka Gorge hydroelectric project which will generate 2,400MW to be shared equally by Zimbabwe and Zambia. Tab

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