A Technical Task Team (TTT) on Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative (PICI) have said that cross- border infrastructure can only be achieved when countries come together to unlock the economic potential of the continents.
The Team said that it can also be done by providing development opportunities for regions, Countries and people through trade.
They explained that currently ten Countries are implementing the PICI across the continent which affirms African’s commitment geared towards opening up African for trade witnessed in the singing of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) in March 2018.
The PICI Team comprises of experts from African Union’s New Partnership African for African Development Agency, (NEPAD) NEPAD/APRM Kenya secretariat is a platform created to accelerate regional infrastructure development across African through political championing of projects.
Its role is to bring visibility, unblock bottlenecks, co-ordinate resource mobilization and ensure project implementation.
Speaking today in Nairobi while opening a two-day workshop aimed at deliberating on the way forward on the PICI, CS East African Community and Northern Corridor Development Peter Munya assured participants that the LAPSSET project was on course and major milestones have been achieved in the three Countries it covers.
“The three docks being developed by the Government of Kenya at the Lamu port are now 45 percent complete, the progress realized is as a result of government’s commitment to the undertaking,” explained the CS.
He challenged participants to reflect on what the continent needed to do in order to realize its full potential.
“What is our potential? What are we doing about that potential? What lessons have we learnt to make future initiatives better and rewarding more? He asked the participants
He revealed that through initiatives such as the Programme for Infrastructure Development (PIDA) they will be able to champion and promote socio -economic development and poverty eradication through improved access to networks and services.
He added that, “we must establish a common vision and global partnership to promote Africa’s socio economic development and integration into global economy.”
In remarks made on behalf of the Principal Secretary (PS) Ministry of Planning Dr. Julius Muia by Ag NEPAD CEO Daniel Osiemo, the PS reiterated the importance cross-border infrastructure for unlocking development potential.
While commending the NEPAD planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) and the NEPAD/ APRM Kenya for its great work and commitment towards African’s Intergration, the PS urged participants to tour lamu County for peer learning from LAPSSET project in order to witness the good progress
He said that PICI plays an important role of accelerating political championing of projects.
The two-day workshop brought together relevant stakeholders to prepare the Comprehensive PICI projects statues report that will be submitted to the NEPAD Heads of State Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC) and subsequently to the African Assembly during the June/ July 2018 AU Summit.
In attendance were NEPAD/ APRM Kenya Secretariat Michael Kisilu, National Governing members Dr, Monica Kerrets Makau, Glenns Etyang , Gray Johnson NEPAD Agency.
Others were development partners from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNEA) African Development Bank (AfDB) representatives from the Economic Community for West African Satates (ECOWAS) Southern African Development Community (SADC) among others.