Wednesday, July 28, 2010

AU boosts ICT infrastructure with PIDA

African Union (AU) Commission in collaboration with New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), weekend in Kampala launched the Programme for Infrastructural Development in Africa (PIDA) to boost infrastructure on the continentally especially for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) development.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that PIDA is the continent-wide programme to develop a vision, policies and strategies for the development of priority regional and continental transport energy and ICT infrastructure by 2030.

In addition to policies and strategies, PIDA will develop investment programme covering the short term of 2012 to 2015.

The report added that PIDA has a medium term plan of 2015 to 2020 and long term plan of 2020 to 2030.

This investment programme will be built around priorities established by the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and shall include implementation strategy and action plan.

Speaking at the launch, the South Africa President, Jacob Zuma said that without necessary infrastructure in place Africa could not achieve any meaningful development.

He also said PIDA was a process to connect the people of Africa to take active part in the development of their continent.

Zuma noted that Africa has failed to make effective use of its abundant resources, saying OAU failed because some people worked extra hours from outside to ensure it failed.

He attributed the inability of the people of the continent to harness its vast resources and to trade among themselves to lack of infrastructure.

According to him, with the successful launching of PIDA, African leaders and people are now speaking with one voice and taking a common position to eradicate poverty in the continent.

Zuma highlighted three major highways that would be given priorities as the connection of the West to the South, Central to the North and South to East.

He attributed the success of the 2010 World Cup hosted by the South Africa to the development of infrastructure through internal resource.

In her address, the AU Commissioner for Infrastructural Development, Dr (Mrs) Elham Ibrahim said PIDA would bring together and merge various continental infrastructural initiatives, such as the NEPAD, ADB among others.

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