Projects suffering funding: AU

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Many projects under the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (Pida), are not moving at the expected rate due to funding problems, the African Union has said.

BY VICTORIA MTOMBA IN ABIDJAN, Ivory coast

Speaking at a Press conference in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, African Union (AU) Commissioner for Infrastructure Development, Elham Ibrahim, said African countries should have national and regional infrastructure projects harmonised.

“There are so many projects going on, but they are not at the rate or speed we would want them to be. We want to accelerate [project implementation]. If there is something delaying that implementation or if there are some challenges, we can intervene so as to accelerate the projects,” Ibrahim said.

Ibrahim said the AU was discussing with the private sector to participate in infrastructure development.

She said a total of 51 projects were being run under Pida and the first step was unpacking the projects, adding last year, 16 projects were presented in Dakar, Senegal.

“Many of the projects are moving, but they are not at the same level. Some need pre-feasibility or feasibility studies and some were at the final stages of implementation,” Ibrahim said.

Elham Ibrahim

She said Africa was not only depending on donors for infrastructure development, but was also using internal resources for infrastructure development. Ibrahim said the private sector needed to participate in infrastructure development.

New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) chief executive officer Ibrahim Assane Mayaki said the continent never depended on donors for its infrastructure development between 1960 and 2000, and 80% of the funds for infrastructure development were from Africa’s public funds.

Mayaki said there was a funding gap for infrastructure development and, therefore, there was need to come up with bankable projects to attract the private sector.

Pida’s regional and continental projects include energy, transport and information technology and transborder water programmes.

The Pida event will run until tomorrow under the theme Accelerating Infrastructure Implementation for Africa’s integration.

Ibrahim said the programme does not include all the projects on infrastructure in Africa.

Pida is an African Union Commission initiative in conjunction with Nepad African Development Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.