2018 PIDA Week: Realising Africa’s integration through smart infrastructure and good governance
PIDA Week 2018 is set to take place from 29 October to 2 November in Victoria Falls, hosted by the Government of Zimbabwe under the auspices of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
PIDA Week was inaugurated in 2015 as a platform to bring together key stakeholders involved in the implementation of the PIDA programme by showcasing the projects and addressing crucial issues around resource mobilisation and creating an enabling environment, to take stock of progress, and identify ways to continue to advance implementation.
The first PIDA Week was held in Abidjan under the theme “Accelerating Infrastructure Implementation for Africa’s Integration” while the second event focused on job creation – “Creating Jobs through Regional Infrastructure Development”. In 2017, PIDA Week continued with emphasis on job creation and economic transformation – “Regional Infrastructure Development for Job Creation and Economic Transformation”.
The Third PIDA Week Final Communiqué captured specific recommendations and action points emanating from the various sessions and discussions.
The Fourth PIDA Week in 2018 will build on previous events to continue to engage stakeholders on the effective delivery of infrastructure on the continent focusing specifically on good governance and how it can specifically help to:
Enable project preparation and implementation;
Support resource mobilisation;
Promote private sector confidence to invest in PIDA projects;
Encourage integration of PIDA projects into national development plans.
The 2018 PIDA Week will focus on five sub-themes:
(i) Project preparation, Resource Mobilisation and Financing Mechanisms
One of the major pre-requisites for the mobilisation of financing for projects is projects preparation as well as demonstration of bankability of the projects. The mobilisation of resources for projects development, preparation and implementation is also an essential step towards ensuring effective infrastructure services delivery. There are various financing mechanisms that African stakeholders could use to ensure the implementation of infrastructure projects including domestic and international financing mechanism from both the public and private sectors. Recent development have also seen a global increase in innovative financing for infrastructure projects including climate finance as well as Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). This Session will aim to discuss barriers, opportunities and emerging trends in projects preparation, resources mobilisation, and projects financing.
(ii) Capacity development, Job Creation and Empowerment
Low levels of capacity for projects preparation and implementation presents one of the major barriers to infrastructure development on the continent. There is a major need to build and boost technical capacities and skills at all levels of the project life cycle as well as relevant institutions to ensure efficient development and management of infrastructure. In addition, suitable infrastructure development on the continent needs to also provide a platform to absorb capacities, create jobs and empower people including women and youth. This Session will aim to highlight the relevance and requirements for effective capacity development for infrastructure projects as well as discussing the job creation and empowerment potentials of infrastructure development on the continent.
(iii) Smart and Integrated Infrastructure Development
The continuing demand for effective infrastructure services delivery at the regional and continental levels to promote cross-border trade, industrialisation and the movement of goods and services calls for the development of smart and integrated infrastructure in Africa. New and emerging technologies provide ample opportunities to ensure services from infrastructure are made more efficient, reliable and cost-effective. For example, Smart Corridors would enable transport and trade facilitation and also contribute to: (1) improved corridor coordination and management; (2) reduction of transport cost as an overall component of exports and imports; and (3) reduced corruption along the corridors. This Session will cover emerging trends at the global and regional levels on smart infrastructure as well as discussing the opportunities and roadmaps to ensure integrated infrastructure services delivery on the continent.
(iv) Technology, Innovation and Industrialisation
One of the fundamental issues to address in infrastructure development in Africa is the establishment of a comprehensive framework that fosters innovations, technology transfer, technology adoption, technical co-operation as well as research and development. In Africa, where the system of innovation and the capacity is not adequate, the first step is to build innovation capacity that addresses local and specific issues. This will make it easier for technology absorption, modelling of technologies to meet local standards and conditions, and ensure effectiveness of businesses and public services. This will also drive industrialisation and regional integration as well as leapfrog development and economic growth on the continent, amongst others. This Session will aim to deliberate on various technology and innovation frameworks and how best they could be integrated within the wider objective of regional and continental infrastructure initiatives.
(v) Policy, Legal and Regulatory Frameworks
The development of a sustainable regional infrastructure and the promotion of regional integration and intra-African trade require the development of effective, comprehensive and harmonised continental regulatory frameworks, which will enhance regional co-operation and co-ordination of stakeholders including Member States as well as Regional Institutions. A harmonised regulatory framework at the continental and regional levels will facilitate the creation of an African common market, enhance private sector engagement and mobilise the huge financial and technical resources required to provide efficient infrastructure services to all Africans. There is thus a need to analyse existing regional and continental regulations including assessment of regulatory frameworks and institutions with a view to propose and implement action plans for harmonised continental and regional regulatory frameworks for effective cooperation between Member States and Regional Institutions in infrastructure development. This Session will aim to identify gaps, recommend best practices and actions in developing a harmonised continental and regional regulatory framework in infrastructure development.