Support to the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA)

Project description

Title: Support to the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: All member states of the African Union
Lead executing agency: African Union Commission (AUC); NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA)
Overall term: 2010 to 2017


Infrastructure development is an important driver of development across the African continent. By improving the competitiveness of countries and helping to integrate the continent as a whole into the global economy, it promotes sustainable and socially inclusive economic growth. While the African Union and its New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) have done much to improve infrastructure and connectivity since the early 2000s, serious infrastructural shortcomings persist across the continent and in all sectors, both in terms of access and quality. Only 38 percent of the African population has access to electricity, for instance, and less than 10 per cent has internet access. Just one quarter of Africa’s road network is paved, although poor road, rail and port facilities have been shown to add up to 40% to the cost of traded goods in Africa (Word Bank). This has an adverse impact on private sector development and the flow of foreign direct investment; it handicaps economic growth and leaves Africa with some of the lowest productivity levels in the world, despite its abundant mineral wealth and natural resources. Nevertheless, weak infrastructure also represents a significant opportunity as infrastructure development, underpinned by intra-regional trade, is important for poverty eradication and helps create wealth for the citizens.

As a response, in January 2012, African Heads of State and Government adopted the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) which provides a blueprint for regional and continental infrastructure development until 2040. It consists of 51 cross-border programmes in the energy, transport and ICT sectors, as well as for trans-boundary water management. Infrastructure development is a collaborative endeavour and PIDA involves several African organisations – the African Union Commission (AUC), the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) – each contributing to the overarching Institutional Architecture for Infrastructure Development in Africa (IAIDA).

After having put in place a strategic and institutional framework for PIDA, the key stakeholders AUC and NPCA now need to develop additional capacities to fulfil their mandates as continental PIDA coordinators during the project implementation phase.


The institutions contributing to the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa have gained greater capacities and are better able to effect the speedy implementation of infrastructure projects.


In response to a request from AUC and NPCA, the GIZ support programme is working to strengthen the institutions’ capacities sustainably in different areas and is divided into five pillars accordingly.

  1. PIDA monitoring, evaluation and reporting – GIZ is assisting its partners with the design and introduction of a monitoring, evaluation and reporting system. A vital tool for tracking the progress of PIDA projects will be the Virtual PIDA Information Centre (VPiC, see, which draws on the African Infrastructure Database containing information on cross-border projects. The monitoring and evaluation system will support regular reporting on the implementation efforts and prompt further interventions and financing.

  2. PIDA information, communication and marketing – Activities to strengthen the communication and marketing of PIDA include organising investment forums and road shows and the production of information materials (e.g. project packages, PIDA success stories). These activities will raise awareness among the various target groups, from the general public and potential investors, to donors and national politicians.

  3. PIDA project preparation support – GIZ is supporting the NEPAD Agency in the creation of the PIDA Technical Assistance Facility, which should accelerate the preparation of PIDA projects. The Facility will provide the different key stakeholders involved in the PIDA process, especially the regional economic communities, the member states, and specialised agencies such as the power pools, with consultants to advise them on early stage project preparation.

  4. Peer-to-peer learning (human capacity development) – In peer-to-peer learning activities, participants can share their own experiences and best practices for the preparation and structuring of cross-border infrastructure projects. In close cooperation with the key stakeholders, GIZ is organising training courses, study tours and other learning formats covering topics such as the institutional arrangements for regional project preparation and management units, or bottlenecks in transaction procedures and regulatory frameworks.

  5. Institutional and organisational development – Here, the main focus is on the design and establishment of important cooperation mechanisms involving the IAIDA stakeholders. A coordinated approach based on the clear mapping of roles and responsibilities – with a functional ‘IAIDA manual’ – is necessary for the success of PIDA projects.