NEPAD to Maintain Meles Zenawi’s Philosophies within the Partnership

The late Ethiopian Premier, Meles Zenawi had been in the forefront of those who took the initiative to establish and implement the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

The Partnership has announced that it would like to uphold the ideals of the late Premier Meles Zenawi.

NEPAD CEO, Dr. Ibrahim Mayati said that an institution aimed at capitalizing on the ideals of Meles is due to be established.

The Partnership has handed over two publications to the African Union Commission: one concerning its 2011 performance and another showcasing Africa’s ten-year transformational journey.

You may download the new publications by visiting NEPAD’s website here.

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NEPAD Launches Two Publications

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency on Thursday launched two new publications, The Africa Decade of Change and the NEPAD 2011 Annual Report, highlighting significant achievements in the last decade.

“The Africa Decade of Change” is a 48-page publication that highlights the Agency’s record, key outcomes and reflections of the 10th anniversary of NEPAD, as the flagship development programme of the Africa Union.

The book is a collaborative effort involving the Office of the UN Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and NEPAD.

On the other hand, the Annual Report captures the programmes the Agency undertook and the results achieved.

It also reviews some of the challenges and opportunities faced by the Agency and projections for the future.

“The two publications that have just been launched…touch on one common theme – Africa’s Development,” the new Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said at the launch in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

She said the continent’s overarching priorities are still poverty eradication and wealth creation, provision of socio-economic infrastructure and services, food security, good governance and effective institutions.

”There is compelling evidence of sustained progress in the pursuit of economic growth, good governance and the emergence of strong, functional and effective institutions in Africa. These are vital for development,” the AU Commission Chairperson said.

She also hinged the development of the continent on a number of factors, including improved financial and technical resources based on domestic sources, improved quality of partnerships and shared responsibilities among Africa’s development stakeholders, human and institutional capacity development with emphasis on innovations, enhanced leadership, strong political commitment, accountability and effective governance.

The Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD, Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, said the Agency’s operations in 2011 were significantly successful, recording more than 75 per cent execution and disbursement/budgetary performance rates for planned programmes and projects as well as programme support activities.

Some of these projects include the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), Partnership for African Fisheries (PAF), Sustainable Land and Water Management (TerrAfrica/SLWM) as well as Development of the African Fertilizer and Agric Business Partnership.

Others are Regional Integration and Infrastructure Development, including the Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative, and the South Sudan Development Initiative (SSDI).

Dr. Mayaki identified some of the challenges and constraints impeding the progress of the Agency as inadequate financial resources, Euro-Zone financial crisis and lack of a formal organizational structure.

“The challenges and constraints notwithstanding, the year brought along considerable opportunities for the operations of the Agency. These were reflected in the robust growth that the African continent continued to experience, the modest but encouraging financial support by the AU member states to the Agency and efforts by most of Africa’s development partners to honour pledged resources in spite of the challenges facing the industrialized economies,” Dr. Mayaki added.

AU’s Director of Information and Communication Habiba Mejri-Cheick said the two publications were key tools in showcasing the impact of the NEPAD programme.

She hailed the “excellent synergy and collaboration” between the Agency’s Communications Unit and the AU’s Directorate of Communication and Advocacy.

A little background about NEPAD:

Source: Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is a program of the African Union (AU) adopted in Lusaka, Zambia in 2001. It is a radical new approach to pursue new priorities and approaches to the political and socio-economic transformation of Africa. NEPAD’s objective is to enhance Africa’s growth, development and participation in the global economy. It provides a strategic framework for Africa’s renewal with the primary objectives of poverty eradication, promotion of sustainable growth and development, and the empowerment of women through building genuine partnerships at country, regional and global levels. It is designed to address current challenges facing Africa and provides a detailed action plan derived from the NEPAD Strategic Framework document and the NEPAD Initial Action Plan, adopted by the African Union Summit in Durban in June 2002. In fact, NEPAD is a holistic, integrated sustainable development initiative for the economic and social revival of Africa involving a constructive partnership between Africa and the developed world. It is anchored in the determination of Africans to extricate themselves and the continent from the malaise of underdevelopment and exclusion in a globalized world. It calls for a new relationship of partnership between Africa and the international community to overcome the enormous gap in development, with the partnership to be founded on a realization of common interests, obligations, commitments, benefits and equality.

NEPAD grew out of a merger of The New Millennium for African Recovery Program (MAP) and the New African Initiative (NAI) with the objective of ensuring a common vision and a shared conviction to eradicate poverty and to place African countries, both individually and collectively, on the path of sustainable growth and sustainable development. It now provides unique opportunities for African countries to take full control of their development agenda, to work more closely together with each other, and cooperate more effectively with international partners. These are aims to which Ethiopia fully subscribes and it has been making maximum efforts to achieve them in collaboration with other African states. Ethiopia firmly believes that unless African countries are integrated politically, economically, and socially, it remains difficult for the continent to extricate itself from poverty and achieve sustainable development.

NEPAD’s primary objectives are to eradicate poverty; to place African countries, both individually and collectively, on a path of sustainable growth and development; to halt the marginalization of Africa in the globalization process; to accelerate the empowerment of women; and to fully integrate Africa into the global economy. Its principles include African ownership and leadership, as well as broad and deep participation by all sectors of society; anchoring the redevelopment of the continent on the resources and resourcefulness of the African people; partnership between and amongst African peoples; acceleration of regional and continental integration; building competitiveness; changing the unequal relationship between Africa and the developed world; and a commitment to ensure that all Partnerships with NEPAD are linked to the Millennium Development Goals and other targets.

NEPAD manages a number of programs and projects in six theme areas: Agriculture and Food Security; Climate Change and National Resource Management; Regional Integration and Infrastructure; Human Development; Economic and Corporate Governance; Cross cutting Issues, including Gender, Capacity Development and ICT. Its work is overseen by the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency operating under NEPAD’s Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC), of which Ethiopia is co-chair, and a Steering Committee. The NEPAD Agency was established by the 14th African Union Summit decision as the institutional vehicle for implementing the African Union Development agenda, and its core mandates to facilitate and coordinate the implementation of regional and continental priority programmes and projects and push for partnerships, resource mobilization and encourage research.

The most innovative aspect of NEPAD is the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). This is a mutually agreed programme, voluntarily adopted by member states of the African Union, to promote and reinforce high standards of governance. It is a self-monitoring mechanism with a mandate to ensure that the policies and practices of participating countries conform to agreed values in democracy and political governance, economic governance, corporate governance and socio-economic development. There are periodic reviews of the participating countries to assess progress with a Panel of Eminent Persons to oversee the process to ensure integrity, consider reports and makes recommendations. There are 30 countries which are now member states of the ARPM, and between January 2006 and January 2011, 14 were peer reviewed: Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda, ,

Ethiopia is an active and committed member of the NEPAD Heads of State Implementation Committee. It has significantly contributed to NEPAD’s dealings with the international community in forums like the G20 and other economic forums as well as spearheading NEPAD’s activities within the African Union. The 14th AU summit approved the establishment of the Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) to act as a technical body of the African Union, replacing the NEPAD secretariat. The Agency is now mandated to facilitate and coordinate the implementation of continental and regional programs and projects as well as mobilize resources in support of their implementation. Following the recommendations of HSGOC at the summit, the AU Assembly also approved the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and the Institutional Architecture for its implementation (IAIDA).

Speaking at a NEPAD Colloquium celebrating NEPAD’s 10th anniversary (March 30th 2012), Prime Minister Meles noted that the NEPAD agenda had retained its significance and relevance 10 years on. It represented the hallmark of Africa’s desire to build a lasting development platform fully owned and led by Africans. “The journey so far”, he said “has been a learning experience” and the process of reviewing the accomplishments of NEPAD provided important lessons with regard to sustainable development in Africa.

NEPAD had matured into the flagship development program of the African Union. Its activities had promoted stronger African ownership through creative partnerships with African stakeholders and had contributed immensely to the transformation of the policy design and implementation of Africa’s development objectives. Africa faced complex and enormous challenges but, with the help of NEPAD, it was moving towards better political consensus and policy coherence. It was witnessing a new era of renewed momentum. The developmental state was also playing a critical role in this process.

Global realities might continue to influence Africa’s development outlook but it was showing continued and impressive economic growth. Reasons for this included good macro-economic governance and improved investor confidence. Equally, Africa needed to continue to build on its domestic resource base for self-reliance and ownership; the focus for the future must be implementation of key programs and projects in such sectors as infrastructure, energy, agriculture and the enhancement of African ownership. NEPAD had a clear role to play.