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PIDA WEEK 2016 ends with pledge to make infrastructure development a key enabler to youth employment

PIDA WEEK 2016 ends with pledge to make infrastructure development a key enabler to youth employment

November 24, 2016
Press Release
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Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 24 november 2016 _ Officials from the African Union (AU), the NEPAD Agency and the African Development Bank (AfDB) today reaffirmed their commitment to ensure employment opportunities are included in infrastructure project design to create inclusive growth and sustainable development in Africa.

The pledge was made at the closing ceremony of the second annual Programme for Infrastructure Development (PIDA) Week in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

PIDA week 2016 kicked off with the Annual Meetings of the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) supported by the Government of Japan, under the theme “Building Quality Infrastructure for Africa’s Development.”

A Project financiers’ roundtable organized by the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility, a special fund hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB), deliberated how to enhance collaboration and co-financing.

We have had fruitful discussions around PIDA particularly on how to fast-track the implementation of its Priority Action Plan.  We need to do more and faster to attain our 2020 targets. On the other hand, we should improve our communication and monitoring strategies with a focus on the social and economic impacts of projects such as the number of jobs created, population impacted, said Dr. Elham Ibrahim, AUC Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy in her closing remarks.

The 250 participants and stakeholders representing Member States, private sector, development partners and project owners actively participated in discussions on how to enhance Public Private Partnerships in the implementation of PIDA projects and draw on lessons learnt from other regions of the world. A key highlight of the weeklong event was the PIDA Marketplace, a project exhibition to showcase on-going PIDA projects.

Speaking during the closing ceremony, the CEO of the NEPAD Agency, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki underscored that the commitment from various stakeholders is evident and there is collective effort towards realising infrastructure development. He highlighted that there is need to remember that Infrastructure development is not about building bridges and roads but about social inclusion. Until we realise this vision, we cannot say we have succeeded. Infrastructure development must lead to social inclusion,” he said

“As the NEPAD Agency we remain committed to the implementation of PIDA to realise the vision of long-term infrastructure development which will lead to job creation and a better Africa.We cannot fail” said Dr Mayaki.

Experts agreed on key recommendations to fast-track infrastructure project delivery, stimulate growth and keep the momentum around PIDA. These include encouraging infrastructure investment from donors, governments and pension fund managers to commit long term resources. The need to build resilient infrastructure to foster inclusive growth and industrialization was underscored. Participants also indicated that it was critical to conduct a mid-term review to update African heads of states on PIDA progress.

For Moono Mupotola, Director of NEPAD Regional Integration and Trade Departement at the AfDB, “the focus for this PIDA Week was to highlight the importance of designing and implementing our regional infrastructure projects in such a manner that they enhance opportunities for job creation for our people, and specifically the youth.  This is a fundamentally important objective in our development efforts on the continent. We have all listened to the feedback from the sector thematic sessions, transport, energy, ICT and water. Our task going forward is to take those key conclusions and recommendations to put them into action in the design of our projects to ensure that we achieve development outcomes that can demonstrate results,” she concluded.

PIDA, a multi-sectoral programme, covers transport, energy, transboundary water and ICT, is dedicated to facilitate continental integration in Africa through improved regional infrastructure.

-Ends-

Contacts :

Mr Ricardo Dunn, Directeur de la Communication, NEPAD. RicardoD@nepad.org

Mrs Wynne Musabayana. Directrice de la communication, Commission de l’Union africaine,  MusabayanaW@africa-union.org  

Ndong Obiang, Olivia Nadine; Chargée Principale de Communication, Banque africaine de développement O.NDONG-OBIANG@AFDB.ORG