The first two decades of the 21st century ushered in real transformation of the African continent. Africa is regaining the growth momentum of the 1970s, as reflected in the 5.4 % GDP growth from 2005 to 2013, and Human Development Index shows 1.5% annual growth. Africa therefore remains on course to achieving the aspirations and goals as encapsulated in the African Union Agenda 2063 - the 50-year guiding vision for the transformation of the continent.
Realising Agenda 2063 will not be possible without increased investment in Africa's infrastructure, a critical engine for continued economic growth and development. If managed prudently and effectively it can contribute to creating employment opportunities and re-position the continent to becoming competitive in the global trading environment.
The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), developed by the African Union Commission (AUC), NEPAD Agency, African Development Bank (AfDB), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs), promotes regional economic integration by building mutually beneficial infrastructure and strengthening the ability of countries to trade and establish regional value chains for increased competitiveness. Since its adoption in January 2012, progress has been made towards the implementation and development of the 51 PIDA Priority Action Plan (PIDA PAP) programmes (circa 430 individual projects) at country as well as regional levels. To complement the project level progress, several other activities and initiatives have been undertaken in the areas of creating an enabling environment, human capacity building and advocacy towards high-level decision makers in support of regional infrastructure development.
PIDA programmes and projects are expected to lead to an integrated continent, job creation and sustainable economic growth fuelling continental trade. Building on the achievements...