AU, EU meet on infrastructure in Ethiopian capital

ADDIS ABABA, May 17 (Xinhua) — The African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) on Thursday kicked off a two-day meeting on infrastructure at the AU headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

The meeting dubbed Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) Reference Group on Infrastructure (RGI) deliberates among others on infrastructure cooperation and the way forward.

The two-day meeting also discusses implementation of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), within a challenging infrastructure context, its progress and way forward.

The participants further dwell upon ways of scaling-up investment for infrastructure in areas such as energy, transport, water, digitalization, as well as the potential for synergies between the European External Investment Plan (EIP) and PIDA.

In his opening remarks, the AU Director for Infrastructure and Energy, Cheikh Bedda, hailed the work done so far by the pan-African bloc on infrastructure development.

He recalled that the meeting is happening in special context as issues of sustainable development are of concerns to Africa’s citizen as well as Europe.

Reiterating the success in the first phase of PIDA, Bedda has noted the support from EU to the programme.

He noted that AU needs to draw lessons learned from the first phase to assist in the implementation of the second phase.

The RGI is mandated to steer the strategic Infrastructure Roadmap in the framework of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy.

During the two-day meeting, the Group will address the 2018-2020 Africa-EU infrastructure agenda across sectors (energy, water, transport, and digitalization).

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