Africa-EU infrastructure and energy partnership: key for infrastructure development in Africa
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 29, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Fourth Meeting of the Steering Committee of the EU-Africa Partnership for Infrastructure has been held today, 28 March 2012. The objective of the meeting was to assess the implementation of the partnership between the African Union and European Union with focus on Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).
The meeting also aimed at gathering the members of the steering committee to provide new guidelines for the course of action as they approach to the midpoint of the joint effort for the 2011-2013 action plan.
On her opening remarks, Dr. Elham Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, AUC noted how PIDA provides African stakeholders with a common framework for building infrastructure that will better integrate transport, energy, information communication technology (ICT) and trans-boundary water networks, to stimulate trade, facilitate growth and create jobs.
“The African Union Commission will spare no efforts to make the Africa - EU Infrastructure Partnership a model of cooperation for infrastructure development in Africa” she assured.
On his part, Ambassador Gary Quince, Head of EU Delegation to the AU said “for the EU and its Member States and also for Africa, blending grants and loans has proved to be a big success in leveraging significant additional finance and has enabled us to support some of the very large scale infrastructure programmes, which are required to provide the interconnections that Africa needs. Blending, together with more support to the private sector in order to stimulate inclusive and sustainable growth, are at the heart of the EU's new development policy, the Agenda for Change.” The Ambassador then noted that Africa's infrastructure needs are certainly immense, with major gaps in the continental transport, energy, water management and ICT networks.
According to Mr. Aboubakar Baba Moussa, Director of Infrastructure & Energy at the AU Commission, EU-Africa partnership on infrastructure was adopted within the frame work of Africa - EU common strategy in December 2007. This common strategy is on areas of trade, regional integration and infrastructure. During this partnership, the Steering Committee has made significant progress in implementing its action plan.
On the global level, as the Director said, facing economic and financial crises that are affecting Europe has impact on economy at large. This crisis also has an impact in the relationship with Africa and the European Union. Currently, African countries are making tremendous progress on their economies and have become an attraction for major investment especially in area of infrastructure, he claimed.
The 12th Assembly of Heads of States and Government adopted declaration Assembly/AU/Decl.1 (XII) requesting the African Union Commission (AUC) to formulate the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), which was officially launched in Kampala, Uganda in July 2010.
For further information please consult the African Union website: www.au.int