Conflict-Sensitive Infrastructure Development: Key Considerations for the AU

The AU’s Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) has an ambitious agenda to connect and integrate the continent through hard and soft infrastructure. The current PIDA Priority Action Plan 2 (PIDA PAP 2) prioritises 69 regional projects. One of the challenges in African infrastructure development that does not get enough attention is the complexity of working in conflict and post-conflict environments. Over half of the 39 countries currently classified as fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS) are African. It is therefore important to understand how PIDA infrastructure policy, planning and implementation can be designed to maximise positive impacts on peace and security (P&S) and mitigate the risk of conflict hindering the traditional economic benefits of regional infrastructure in FCAS. This policy brief seeks to analyse global and African literature and best practices on infrastructure development and P&S to see whether sufficient linkages have been drawn between infrastructure and P&S in AU and PIDA strategies. Recommendations target the improved integration of P&S considerations in continental infrastructure development strategies to maximise project success and contributions to peacebuilding.