African Ministers adopt Declaration for the STC on Transport, Intercontinental and Interregional Infrastructure, Energy and Tourism
The Ministerial Session of the First Ordinary Session of the AU Specialized Technical Committee on Transport, Intercontinental and Interregional Infrastructure, Energy and Tourism (STC-TIIIET) convened on 17th March 2017 in Lomé, Togo, under the theme “Financing Infrastructure in Africa”.
The Session was opened by H.E. Komi Selom Klassou, Prime Minister of Togo, in the presence of Ministers responsible for transport, energy and tourism sectors from 38 African Union (AU) Member States, H.E. Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, AUC Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, representatives of the Regional Economic Communities, the regional development banks and financial institutions, the continental specialized organizations, private sector, development partners and international organizations involved in energy, transport and tourism development.
The Prime Minister recalled that Africa will be hosting 25% of the world population is the continent of opportunities but also of issues and challenges to attract more economic investment. He called upon Ministers and High Level participants to come up with concrete proposals that will enable effective integration through infrastructure development as indicated in the AU Agenda 2063.
Regarding the areas of the STC, the Prime Minister highlighted the main energy, and transport projects that are included in the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa. He welcomed the initiative of the African Union Commission with the support of the AfDB and UNECA that aims at looking into new and innovative sources of financing in order to fast track the implantation of the projects.
In her keynote speech at the Opening Ceremony, H.E. Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, AUC Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, said that African Heads of State and Government solemnly affirmed their commitment to strengthen the implementation of the Union’s Agenda 2063, the first ten-year plan of which is already operational.
“This is why the AUC, AfDB, NEPAD, UN-ECA, and RECs jointly launched the Africa Infrastructure Development Program (PIDA) whose objective is to provide African decision-makers with a coherent framework for regional and continental development in the energy, trans-boundary waters, transport, telecommunications and information and communication technologies sectors,” she added.
Highlighting the efforts being deployed for establishment of continental free trade area, establishment of the single market for air transport in Africa and transformation of the regional corridors into intelligent corridors, the Commissioner emphasized on need for mobilizing of efforts and resources in order to accelerate the implementation of transport and service infrastructure development programs, in particular those of the PIDA Priority Action Plan, harmonize transport policies, laws and regulations as well as continental standards.
Speaking earlier, H.E. Amadou Hott, Vice President of the African Development Bank, emphasized that access to sustainable energy services is a critical development enabler for Africa as the continent is still the least electrified region in the world. “We all know that Energy is at the base of any economic activity and no country will be able to progress unless reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy services are accessible to all,” he said.
Organized by AUC, the Republic of Togo, AfDB and the UNECA, the 1st STC-TIIIET aimed to assess progress and to achieve concrete advances in the financing of major infrastructure, notably those in the Priority Action Plan of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA/PAP), through decisions and consensus on investing in the preparation, structuring, implementation and risks mitigation of climate resilient infrastructure projects.
The Ministers considered and adopted the Rules of Procedures of the STC, elected the STC Bureau which will lead the work for the next two years and designate Sub-Committees that would focus on guiding implementation of the sector/sub-sector action plans and dedicate their efforts to making Africa the Preferred Destination for investment into Transport, Energy and Tourism in order to achieve the objectives of the AU Agenda 2063.
They also considered and adopted the Report of the Experts’ Meeting, which held from 13-16 March, the STC Action Plan and Ministerial Declaration which includes recommendations drawn from the Experts’ Report and sectorial Action Plans for infrastructure projects.
The outcomes of 1st STC-TIIIET will be forwarded to the forthcoming Summit of the AU Assembly for consideration and adoption.