Infrastructure key solution to Africa’s challenges, recovery, says EU Ambassador

Head of the EU Delegation to the African Union Birgitte Markussen/ TWITTER

The European Union believes that Africa’s infrastructure is a key part of the needed response and recovery in the challenging context today, Head of the EU Delegation to the African Union Birgitte Markussen has said.

Speaking at in a Zoom meeting on Monday, Markussen said the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), is a key engine, along the efforts towards continental integration driven by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

PIDA is meant to bridge Africa’s infrastructure deficit, is an initiative of AU, NEPAD Agency and AfDB.

Speaking at the Sixth PIDA Week dialogue, UN Economic Commission for Africa’s Robert Lisinge said attracting private sector investment requires government ownership of infrastructure projects.

“This could be demonstrated thru the availability of national infrastructure strategies and investment plans with clearly defined targets,” Lisinge said.

Lisinge said organising investment roundtables at the regional level could fast track the implementation of priority PIDA projects, adding that lack of capacity by countries to engage private sector and crucial information is hampering investment in Africa.

“ECA is assisting in that regard,” he said.

Relations between the EU and Africa cover areas such as peace and security, democracy, human rights, development and sustainable economic growth.

According to the AUC Medium-Term Plan 2018-2023 “Delivering AU Reforms and Accelerating Agenda 2063 Agenda 2063”, infrastructure is the cornerstone of the African economy.

Investment in infrastructure accounts for over half of the recent improvement in economic growth in Africa and has the potential to achieve even more.

Africa has undergone fundamental changes over the last decade, which in turn has fuelled demand for infrastructure services including energy, transportation, ICT, water supply, growing agriculture and urban infrastructure.

 

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