The AFDB Participation at the 6th Meeting of the JAES Reference Group on Infrastructure
25 May 2018
On the 17th to 18th May 2018, the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) held the 6th Meeting of the Reference Group on Infrastructure (RGI) at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This meeting is part of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) that was launched at the Africa – EU Summit in Lisbon in 2007.
The RGI deliberates on infrastructure across the sectors of Energy, Water, Transport and Digitalisation. The RGI is mandated to steer the strategic Infrastructure Roadmap in the framework of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy.
Mr. Mike SALAWOU, Division Manager – Infrastructure Partnerships at the African Development Bank (AfDB), led the Bank team. The key objective of the 6th Meeting of the RGI is to contribute to the implementation of the 5th AU-EU Summit that took place in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivorie in November 2017. The 5th AU-EU Summit adopted the Strategic Area 3: “Mobilising Investments for African structural sustainable transformation” as one of the strategic priorities to be implemented during the AU-EU 2018 – 2022 Agenda.
The 6th Meeting of the RGI deliberated on several key aspects that included the implementation of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), mechanisms of scaling-up investment for infrastructure within the different infrastructure sectors along with the potential partnerships between the European External Investment Plan (EIP) and Africa. In addition, the 6th Meeting on the RGI also emphasized on the need to include within the PIDA framework, water projects along with boosting their financial viability in Africa through an application of a nexus approach. The meeting also called upon the need to mainstream climate change in infrastructure as well as innovation as allied to digitisation.
On the 18th May 2018, the AU-EU co-chairs issued a joint statement as part of the Conclusions emanating from the 6th Meeting of the RGI. These Conclusions form part of the key guidelines to the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) partners on Infrastructure as well as formulate part of the key strategy for the planned 2018 AUC-EC College-to-College (C2C) Meeting scheduled for 23rd May 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. Specific to the Bank, the Conclusions stipulate the need for synergies between the various PIDA instruments such as NEPAD – IPPF (for project preparation) and Africa50 fund (for both project development and finance).
At the margins of the 6th Meeting of the RGI, Mr. SALAWOU also held bilateral meetings with Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) on the work of NEPAD-IPPF and ICA; and the African Union Commission (AUC) on overall work at developing infrastructure in Africa.