The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) is the African Union’s (AU) strategic framework for regional and continental infrastructure development, guiding the continental infrastructure development agenda, policies, and investment priorities. It provides a framework for engagement with Africa’s development partners on the provision of regional and continental infrastructure, and facilitates the physical, economic and social integration of the continent in support of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
PIDA brings together continental infrastructure initiatives and regional master plans into one coherent infrastructure investment programme with an implementation strategy and portfolio of projects for prioritised implementation, the PIDA Priority Action Plan (PIDA- PAP). PIDA- PAP covers the four key infrastructure sectors of transport, energy, ICT and transboundary water resources, and the first iteration of the PIDA- PAP (PIDA-PAP 1) comprises more than 400 projects in 51 cross-border programmes for implementation until end of 2020.
While progress is being recorded in PIDA implementation, there are numerous challenges affecting the pace of implementation, such as the lack of finance; lack of capacity for project preparation; limited involvement of the private sector in infrastructure projects; and the need to address governance issues and create an enabling legal, policy and regulatory environment, amongst others.
PIDA Week was inaugurated in 2015 as a forum to bring together key stakeholders in the implementation of the PIDA programme. It provides an opportunity for stakeholders to review and reflect on progress in the implementation of the programme; discuss ways to overcome the key challenges and advance possible solutions; share lessons learnt and identify ways to improve implementation.
The first PIDA Week was held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire under the theme “Accelerating Infrastructure Implementation for Africa’s Integration”. The second event in 2016 focused on job creation and was themed “Creating Jobs through Regional Infrastructure Development”. The Third PIDA Week (2017) maintained the emphasis on job creation and economic transformation through its theme, “Regional Infrastructure Development for Job Creation and Economic Transformation”. The Fourth PIDA Week in 2018 focused on “Realising Africa’s Integration through Smart Infrastructure and Good Governance”, while in 2019 the Fifth PIDA Week in Cairo, Egypt, was convened under the theme, “Positioning Africa to deliver on Agenda 2063 and Economic Integration through multi - sectoral approaches to infrastructure development”.
PIDA Week has since progressed into a critical forum for accelerating infrastructure implementation in Africa, but also to link infrastructure to the key themes of development of regional integration, transformative economic growth and job creation.