Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
Through NEPAD, Africa has challenged and successfully changed the development paradigm : agriculture, infrastructure, science and technology, and regional economic integration, which were not among top priorities of NEPAD’s development partners, have now taken centre stage.
The narrow approach of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) has been replaced by a comprehensive and holistic approach to development.
Through these interventions, the African people have for the first time independently determined a development path for their countries and continent.
The challenge to African governments and regional community structures is to take advantage of the new window of opportunity provided by NEPAD by examining their national and regional development strategies and budgets in light of the NEPAD framework and the opportunities provided for a coordinated and integrated approach.
Having defined its strategic framework and key sectoral priority programmes, NEPAD is presently in the implementation phase. In this respect, it is important to emphasise that NEPAD itself is not an implementation agency. Implementation has to happen primarily at different levels of member states, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and continental and regional institutions.
With this in mind, national governments are expected to implement NEPAD programmes along the following lines :
Deepening ownership, promoting self-reliant development and strengthening leadership at national level through the internalisation of NEPAD values and principles ;
Establishment of NEPAD focal points (persons and institutions) to deepen ownership and the mainstreaming of national NEPAD programmes based on the generic key sectoral programmes developed by NEPAD ;
Accelerating the adoption of NEPAD programmes as frameworks and guidelines for national development plans, such as PRSPs ;
Ensuring that each country is in a position to take full advantage of international support mobilised by NEPAD ;
Complying with major African Union (AU) and REC resolutions linked to the implementation of NEPAD ;
Deepening engagement with the private sector and civil society in the development and implementation of NEPAD programmes ; and
Committing adequate resources to the implementation of NEPAD priority programmes.
Implementation is poised to accelerate As a clear confirmation of their determination to address corruption, poor governance and inefficient and ineffective delivery of public goods and services to their citizens, African leaders are implementing the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).
The APRM is highly innovative and is well received by both Africans and the international community to enthrone good governance in all its ramifications on the continent.
The other exciting development is the consolidation of democracy and improved macro-economic management across the continent. African leaders are intervening and ensuring a peaceful political transition in many countries. Unconstitutional changes of government are no longer tolerated. Previously intractable conflicts on the continent are being addressed with African solutions. African resources are being utilised and African leadership brought to bear in the prevention, management and resolution of conflict.
The implementation of NEPAD programmes is poised to accelerate in the coming years. Preparations and consultations for the roll out of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) have been concluded. The regional communities and national governments have identified high priority projects and early actions.
To demonstrate their commitment to implement NEPAD, African governments have made firm financial commitments, including increasing national budget allocations to agriculture to at least 10% per annum by 2008. Closely linked to the CAADP is the Africa Productive Capacity Initiative. This has been launched with the purpose of ensuring that African economies raise the manufacturing value addition to 17% of GDP. This would ensure that African countries achieve the targeted annual economic growth rates of 7% GDP, as well as make African products more competitive in international markets.
Linked to this is the successful development and launch of the Investment Climate Facility for Africa, a public-private financial facility, to address key bottlenecks impeding African countries in improving their investment climates.
Good progress with many programmes Implementation of other NEPAD programmes including health, information communication technology (ICT), education, environment and science and technology is making good progress. In health the priority has been to lift the fight against the huge burden of potentially preventable and treatable disease — Aids, tuberculosis and malaria — to the top of the development agenda.
Countries have moved to implement the NEPAD Health Strategy and the partnership with the World Health Organisation, in particular its Regional Office for Africa, continues to yield positive results. In education, NEPAD is supporting the development of distance education in partnership with the University of South Africa, the African Virtual University in Kenya, the National Open University of Nigeria and the Commonwealth of Learning in Canada. The focus is primarily on teacher training and development in a number of African countries.
The other very important initiative is the expansion of the science, maths and technology education centre in Nairobi, Kenya, into a NEPAD regional project. The key development partner in these initiatives is Japan. The top NEPAD priorities in ICT, which have reached an advanced stage of preparation and implementation, are the e-schools project and the provision of a fibre-optic submarine cable on the East Coast of Africa. The e-schools project is a very bold endeavour to develop a strategy for enabling all African schools to have access to ICT within 10 years.
In science and technology, progress is being made with centres of excellence. In addition the African Union Commission and NEPAD have established a high-level African Panel on Modern Biotechnology to develop a comprehensive strategy and advise African governments on issues pertaining to advances in genetic engineering and genetically modified products.
Regarding cross-border infrastructure and other projects with significant regional impact, the major constraint, the capacity of the secretariats of Regional Economic Communities is being addressed, with the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) conducting capacity building needs assessments for all RECs. This includes determination of funding required to implement recommendations.
Infrastructure gets finance priority In the past five years the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank have increased the priority of projects under the NEPAD Short Term Action Plan for Infrastructure Development. Major projects financed include the West Africa gas pipeline, electricity inter-connectors in West and Southern Africa and a number of feasibility studies.
The NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC) has also resolved to study options for investing African pension funds in selected high priority infrastructure projects, again confirming Africa’s commitment to its own development. Initial work has been undertaken on the Pan-African Infrastructure Development Fund, which is aimed at creating a platform for basic infrastructure for accelerating growth for sustainable development in Africa.
Under the leadership of South Africa and Nigeria a steering committee supported by a secretariat has been established to lead the establishment of the fund, which will initially focus on infrastructure sectors : transportation (roads, rail, ports, and airports), telecoms, water and energy (gas and electricity).
The success in the implementation of the NEPAD agenda will largely depend on the participation of all stakeholders at all levels including the civil society groups and the need to build their capacity on the NEPAD agenda remains a priority.
A Summit of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee is to be convened in Abuja, Nigeria, in October 2006 to brainstorm a review of the achievements of NEPAD and possible improvements of its programs and operations.
Source : nepad news - 18 août 2006