Incoming African Union chair President Cyril Ramaphosa has highlighted the importance of countries on the continent supporting the Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative (PICI). He was speaking at a PICI meeting he hosted at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa.

The PICI is a programme under Nepad, which aims to promote priority infrastructure projects.

Ramaphosa has been at the helm of the North-South Rail corridor, which forms part of a network of other continental PICI regional projects.

He says infrastructure development is key to the success of the African Free Trade Continental Area.

“The PICI must play a key role in meeting the aspiration of Agenda 2063 of increasing inter and intra-regional trade of improving road rail and port infrastructure in the region, of using financial institutions to collaborate with the private sector to expand on the continent, and of identifying and promoting practical opportunities based on complementary national endowments,” says Ramaphosa.

CEO of the New Partnership of Africa’s Development (Nepad) Ibrahim Mayaki has lauded progress in implementing infrastructure projects on the continent.

Mayaki was speaking at a Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative (PICI) meeting at the African Union in Ethiopia.

The PICI is an initiative which allows African Heads of State to participate in various infrastructure projects to fast-track and ensure their implementation.

Examples are the ICT Optic Fibre Project for East Africa championed by Rwanda President Paul Kagame and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s North-South Rail Project.

Mayaki says developing infrastructure is linked to development on the continent.

Watch the video below as President Ramaphosa addresses the AU Heads of State Summit: