The “Technical Assistance to The African Union – Infrastructure Support Mechanism” (EU ISM TA) made several contributions mainly focused on capacity building and strategy in trade and markets: in January 2021, EU ISM TA supported and facilitated the presentation of a paper on Recommendations for increasing effectiveness of the AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) at PIDA week 2020.
The title of the working paper was:
“The AfCFTA, Infrastructure and Economic Transformation in Africa – The Challenges and Opportunities”
The ultimate aim of regional-level processes is harmonisation of legislative and regulatory frameworks to be more conducive for investment, business and trade, in order to facilitate private sector engagement. These processes should ideally encompass the following:
- A strategic framework for private sector involvement including the mechanisms for the involvement in the decision-making process and a mandate for the regional bodies to engage in pro-active promotion of the private sector in the form of PPP (Public – Private partnerships) and PSD (Private Sector Development) programmes.
- An annual high-level forum between member states, regional bodies, and the private sector to evaluate experiences relating to issues such as the elimination of non-tariff barriers (NTB), further trade liberalisation agendas, PSD programmes. Such a forum is in fact in the process of being established, the African Business Council (ABC).
- A transparent and rule-based mechanism to make the involvement of the private sector in business-related regulations mandatory at early and defined stages of the process. The process should be based as far as possible on national consultations to ease a broad participation including of SMEs. The Technical Assistance to African Union Trade and market unit will develop a Trade & Markets Access Strategy to provide coherence with the continental Trade frameworks on Boosting Intra African Trade (BIAT) and African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and to establish a three (3) year Implementation Plan. The above-mentioned Technical Assistance is expected to demonstrate how trade can play a role in Economic Integration on the continent and explore internal collaboration with other AUDA-NEPAD thematic areas such as Industrialisation, Environmental sustainability, and human capital and Skills initiatives for linkages and associations as part of value chains.
Reinforcing the linkages between infrastructure sectors and the supply side value chains
The “Technical Assistance to The African Union – Infrastructure Support Mechanism” will contribute to increase the participation of SMEs in the infrastructure projects value chains though a paper and recommendation which will be presented at PIDA week 2022. In parallel the Technical Assistance will coordinate with the 100,000 SME’s initiative at AUDA NEPAD being supported by GIZ.
Contributions to the Data Driven Approach to Reinforcing the Linkages Between PIDA, Infrastructure and Trade
The “Technical Assistance to The African Union – Infrastructure Support Mechanism” is coordinating with GIZ which is supporting AUC on the initiative to reinforce the linkages between infrastructure, industrialization and trade through the development of a proof of concept for a Data-driven approach to establish and quantify the demand for transport and logistics of goods for potential intra-African trade opportunities. This coordination will pave the way for future collaboration on the use of this new approach to inform interventions linked to the downstream infrastructure demand side impacts of infrastructure projects. The analysis of intra African trade flows will enable institutional and private sector stakeholders to identify infrastructure bottlenecks and potential alternative sourcing of food, consumables and durable goods within Africa in the context of implementation of their trade and market strategy.
Contributions to PIDA Market and Demand Study for Africa 2020-2030
The “Technical Assistance to The African Union – Infrastructure Support Mechanism” team provided comprehensive comments and feedback to the PIDA Market and Demand Study for Africa 2020-2030 carried out at AUC and financed by EU. The outcome of this study has provided a sound basis for estimating the demand for infrastructure in Africa in 2030 in the four PIDA sectors along 4 scenarios: Baseline or Business as usual scenario, Rapid urbanization scenario, Climate change impacts scenario, and COVID-19 Scenario. The results of the Market and demand study has guided the prioritization of PIDA PAP2 and will guide the successive reprioritization for implementation until 2030.