Africa launches ambitious infrastructure development initiative

Munyonyo- Uganda (PANA) -- Bracing to overcome its underdevelopment, Africa on Sa turday launched a multi billion-dollar programme for infrastructure development j ointly sponsored by the African Union Commission (AUC), the New Partnership for A frica's Development (NEPAD) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) while Africa n heads of state are the programme's key stakeholders.
Through the programme, African leaders want to carry out their strategic vision of the continent's integration whereby infrastructure can contribute to boosting economic and social development.
The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) has been structure d in a way that its sponsors believe will see the maximum participation and cons u ltation of the different centres of decision-making on the continent.
South African President Jacob Zuma was unanimously named Patron of PIDA because his country has inspired the rest of the continent by its success in putting in p lace the wherewithal for the just-ended FIFA World Cup within a short span of ti m e.
Speaking at the programme launch, Zuma remarked: "Africa's time has come.
Withou t infrastructure we could have wished to be anything and these dreams would be e m pty.
We are not able to trade among ourselves due to lack of communication.
The p roposed infrastructure will bring new opportunities to our continent.
" The president also paid tribute to AfDB for its decision to invest heavily in in frastructure development.
"This is a wise decision by the Bank.
Africa is currently a region that has star ted on economic growth and has the potential that no other region has in the wor l d.
Africa's infrastructure position is the way that the rest of the world is goi n g to look at us.
Infrastructure is a starting point," Zuma added.
Alluding to South Africa's achievements in infrastructure development ahead of t he World Cup finals, AUC Chairperson Jean Ping responded to Zuma's remarks sayin g : "Your success story helped us to think that Africa can .
yes, we can.
" PIDA is to be carried out by regional economic communities, working closely with their respective member states and AU specialised institutions and sector organ i sations.
Initially, stakeholders and partners in the programme will undertake a study cov ering four infrastructure sectors: energy, transport, information and communicat i on technology (ICT) and trans-boundary water resources.
One of the critical outputs of the study will be the priority action plan and ho w that plan would be monitored and rolled forward over time.
PIDA is intended to establish an infrastructure development programme over a time horizon up to 2030 .

24 Julho 2010 15:02:00

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