Allow me to begin by thanking President Macky Sall for hosting this important meeting, ahead of the African Union Summit, and the AUDA-NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee, later this month.

And President, you have pretty much covered most of the things that need to be said. I thank you for your work and commitment.

Let me go on and say I also commend President Cyril Ramaphosa, for his leadership of the Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative.

With the implementation of the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), building world-class infrastructure on our continent is within our reach.

Under the Second PIDA Priority Action Plan, AUDA-NEPAD assists member countries in fast-tracking projects with high social impact.

Over the years, good progress has been made. No doubt about that. But Africa’s infrastructure gap remains significant.

To close this gap for good, mobilizing domestic resources is very critical.

This is why, in 2017, AUDA-NEPAD launched the 5% Agenda on Increasing Institutional Investment in Africa’s Infrastructure.

This summit is an opportunity to add to this funding mix, by partnering with the private sector, to make our infrastructure projects even more bankable.

Having inclusive, reliable, and sustainable infrastructure, is not an end in itself.

For Africa, it means reducing the cost of doing business, boosting regional trade, and becoming more resilient against future shocks.

Ultimately, infrastructure is a means to create prosperity and opportunity for our people.

Since its creation, under the leadership of South Africa, membership of the Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative has increased.

This underscores, once again, that building Africa’s infrastructure requires us to work closely together, both as governments, and with the private sector.

In fact, this also helps to operationalize with full capacity the African Continental Free Trade Area.

It is part of our wider vision, as outlined in Agenda 2063, to build a more secure and prosperous Africa for all of us.

Let’s seize this momentum, to make faster progress towards our shared goals. We cannot be satisfied, with business as usual.

I take this opportunity to thank all the partners present, and let’s continue working together and stay the course, for the Africa we want.

Once again, President Macky Sall, thank you for inviting us and hosting us in this beautiful city, Dakar, and Senegal.

I thank you for your kind attention.