NEPAD Transport and Infrastructure Summit,copyright to Cape Media 2010
|Friday, 11 September 2009 12:11|
NEPAD Transport Infrastructure Projects of Excellence Awards 2009
¬†One of the highlights of Summit 2009 was the launch of the annual NEPAD Transport Infrastructure Projects of Excellence Awards, honouring those who, through best practice. innovation,¬† good ¬†
management and financial control have made a major contribution to the future of the continent in line with the aims and objectives of NEPAD and the African Union.
In what might be described as an atmosphere of solemn festivity in keeping with the importance of the occasion, the Deputy CEO of NEPAD and veteran Nigerian diplomat, Amb Olukorede Willoughby, reminded the¬† assembled dignitaries of the reason for the awards.
"The development of Africa's transport infrastructure networks and corridors has become even more crucial in driving regional integration and trade. This is particularly so if one takes into account that economic groupings within Africa trade far less with one another than they do with their external partners mainly because of inherent¬† deficits in transport and energy infrastructure,"¬† he said.
"The Africa infrastructure deficit¬† is currently pegged at $93billion a year, of which $18billion or almost 20% is the transport¬† infrastructure deficit, and more than half of this deficit relates to ¬†
operation and maintenance needs.
"In this perspective, project excellence awards are more than a pat on the back for a job well done -- they are solemn recognition of effort, commitment and innovation in an absolutely vital field of activity."
The first winners of the NEPAD Awards were:
* The Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative -- for the development of the transport corridor between Maputo and Gauteng.
* Ethiopian Airlines -- for their continental leadership in air transport and their extensive route network between African states and cities.
* The Government of Senegal -- for regional leadership in developing the Dakar-Diamniadio Highway project.