Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
July, TerrAfrica executive committee meeting co-ordinated by NEPAD Secretariat.
27 July, Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic Study steering committee meeting, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
17-23 August, World Water Week, Stockholm, Sweden. Source : NEPAD, July 4, 2008
The next NEPAD TV programme on the SABC Africa channel (DSTV channel 407) is :
9 July, 8pm-9pm (SA time)
This phone-in discussion will be led by a panel including Ambassador Olukorede Willoughby, Acting CEO, NEPAD Secretariat, Dr. Hesphina Rukato, Deputy CEO, NEPAD Secretariat and Gengezi Mgidlana, Special Advisor to the CEO, NEPAD Secretariat.
The topic : Integration of the NEPAD Secretariat into the African Union structures.
(This programme was originally scheduled for 2 July but had to be postponed). Source : NEPAD, July 4, 2008
There is still some delay between disbursements from the NEPAD-Spanish Fund for the Empowerment of Women and the arrival of the funding in the bank accounts of the beneficiary organisations. This is because of the meticulous banking procedures involved.
The following organisations are assured that they will receive their funding in the next few days :
Ministerio da Familia Promocao da Mulher — Angola Women Right Awareness Programme — Kenya Isiglo Trust-SAWID Projects — South Africa African Women’s Millennium Initiative on Poverty and Human Rights — Senegal Coordination des Femmes Entrepreneurs du Mali Promaic — Angola Refetang Reseau des Femmes du Tanganyica Hundee,Oromo Grassroots Development Initiative — Ethiopia Women Self Help Development Organisation – Sudan Ministry of Gender and Development — Liberia The NEPAD Secretariat reminds all beneficiaries to acknowledge receipt of funding as soon as it is reflected in their bank accounts.
Queries relating to disbursements should be addressed to Edwin Mununga, Financial Manager, NEPAD Secretariat at +27 (0)11 313 3467, or Kossi Toulassi, NEPAD-Spanish Fund Project Accountant, at +27 (0)11 313 3835.
In order for the first call for proposals for funding to be completed, the NEPAD Secretariat once again urges all organisations which have not yet responded to correspondence to do so immediately.
The Secretariat thanks all organisations for their cooperation. Source : NEPAD, July 4, 2008
Reforms to enhance the performance of the African Union Commission and build its implementation capacity were outlined by the Chairman of the Commission, Jean Ping, in his address at the opening of the African Union Summit in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, on 30 June 2008.
The theme of the Summit — “Meeting the Millennium Development Goals on Water and Sanitation” — was of vital importance, he said. “While it is true that significant progress has been made, particularly with access to safe drinking water, much remains to be done for our continent to meet the Millennium Goals within the set time frame”.
During his speech, the Chairman made the following points :
“Over the past years, the policy organs of our Union adopted a number of declarations and instruments which clearly indicate the vision of the African Union and the objectives it should achieve. What remains is to translate that vision and those objectives into reality, so as to give concrete expression to the hope generated by the creation of the African Union.
To this end, I have decided to devote my term of office at the helm of the Commission to action and efficiency, and to build on what the previous team had accomplished under difficult conditions.
Admittedly, the Commission has an important role to play in the continent’s collective efforts to meet the aspirations of the people of Africa to unity, peace and security, to development, democracy and freedom of expression. The conclusions of the audit of the organs of the African Union, while underscoring the achievements made since 2003, also pointed out shortcomings and weaknesses linked, among others, to the structure and functioning of the Commission.
It is imperative that we remedy this situation, notably by working to scrupulously implement the audit recommendations.
For my part, I have begun to introduce within the Commission a number of reforms to enhance its performance and build its initiative and implementation capacity.
This exercise will entail putting a premium on competence, experience, efficiency, justice and commitment to African Union ideals, promoting team spirit and collegiality, ensuring effective flow of information, optimising the functioning of the various structures of the Commission, strengthening measures to render more transparent and credible the management of the precious financial and material resources provided by our member states and partners of our organisation, and improving the working conditions and social well-being of the staff of the Commission.
In short, the objective is to enable the Commission to effectively fulfil its responsibilities and fully meet the expectations of member states ; create an efficient structure commensurate with the clear visibility and strong credibility achieved by the African Union within a short period of time.
I am determined to bring these reforms to their logical conclusion, for I am convinced that without a Commission capable of translating into deeds the vision that we have set ourselves, a Commission able to implement the decisions of the policy organs of our Union, there is a great danger of seeing the credibility enjoyed by the African Union irremediably eroded and the hope of an Africa at the rendezvous of history giving way to serious disillusion.
It goes without saying that these reforms will be carried out in a transparent manner, in consultation with the stakeholders and partners, and in strict compliance with the rules and principles governing our Organization.
This Session of the Assembly of the Union is taking place in an international context characterised by a host of problems and challenges, the hallmarks of which are food crisis, energy crisis and climatic crisis, to cite only a few. Admittedly, these problems affect all the countries of the world but there is no gainsaying that our continent is the most exposed because of its vulnerability.
Africa will be able to address these challenges through a greater determination, a more active solidarity, and a greater unity of purpose in the international arena, thereby ensuring that on issues that concern its future, it can at last speak with the same voice, with one voice to be more precise.
Recent developments, needless to say, have clearly shown the gravity of the food crisis facing many communities and countries throughout the world. Africa has not been spared in so far as it imports respectively 45% and 85% of the rice and wheat it consumes. Not only does this situation exacerbate the already unenviable plight of the most vulnerable groups, but it also carries the danger of riots and hunger, the consequences of which should not be underestimated.
It is against this background that the Commission has taken a number of initiatives aimed at forging a strategic partnership with the relevant international institutions not only to assist member states to meet their most urgent needs but also to successfully implement programmes designed to step up their agricultural production and productivity.
It is imperative that we get ourselves better mobilised for the effective implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme adopted in Maputo in July 2003.
The need to speed up the economic integration of our continent cannot be overemphasised, when viewed against the current globalisation context. Indeed, none of our countries, taken individually, can effectively address the numerous problems confronting us.
It is my hope that the Assembly will take the requisite decisions to pave the way for new tangible progress on the various challenges confronting us, be they rationalisation of the Regional Economic Communities, free movement of persons, goods, services and capital, regional infrastructure financing or effective involvement of the private sector in the integration process.
For my part, I shall continue to place special emphasis on the rationalisation of the Regional Economic Communities and the completion of the process aimed at the establishment of the financial institutions of the Union.
In the same vein, I am doing everything possible to successfully implement the process of integrating NEPAD in the structures of the Commission in accordance with the relevant decisions of the Assembly of the Union so as to strengthen, revitalise and, above all, operationalise this programme. Source : NEPAD, July 4, 2008
Philibert Afrika has been appointed Director of the NEPAD Regional Integration and Trade department (ONRI) in the African Development Bank. In a statement on his appointment he said, “The AfDB has positioned itself to play an expanded role in regional integration and to support the NEPAD process”.
The department, created in 2006 to fulfill the mandate that the Heads of State and Government gave the Bank, provides technical assistance to Regional Economic Communities and the African Union in programme design, implementation and in capacity building initiatives.
It initiates the preparation of policies and strategies on infrastructure development for AfDB intervention, advises member countries and institutions on technical aspects of projects, conducts sectoral studies in connection with lending programmes, and helps implement regional infrastructure projects financed by the Bank.
Mr. Afrika has 28 years’ experience in various functions in the Bank. Previously he was Director for Operations, Policy and Compliance under which he provided guidance and oversight for the preparation of sectoral and operational policies.
He also supervised group activities on development effectiveness and management of results within the framework of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.
He has travelled extensively and has represented the Bank at various seminars, strategic planning meetings and conferences on issues of financing for development.
He holds a Master of Science degree in monetary economics from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Source : NEPAD, July 4, 2008
In line with its agricultural and rural development policy, the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is financing numerous fisheries and aquaculture sector programmes and projects. To date the fisheries portfolio comprises 20 projects and programmes benefiting 22 regional member countries (RMCs) estimated at close to US$200 million. This makes AfDB the main financier of the African fisheries sector.
The Bank recently undertook a review of the fisheries portfolio to draw lessons and strategise for future interventions. The report was presented to a range of stakeholders during a workshop in Tunis, Tunisia on 19-20 June 2008.
The aim of the workshop was to share experiences of the the implementation of Bank- financed projects as well as to draw up an action plan for future interventions.
The NEPAD Agriculture Unit was one of the stakeholders involved in the workshop.
Under the NEPAD Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), fisheries development is guided by the NEPAD action plan for the development of African fisheries and aquaculture.
The action plan was endorsed by the African Heads of State and Government during the NEPAD Fish For All Summit in Abuja, Nigeria, in August 2005 as a framework which underpins strategic investments in order to safeguard the future contribution of Africa’s fish sector to poverty alleviation and regional economic development.
During the NEPAD-AfDB workshop in Tunis it was agreed to strengthen the collaboration between NEPAD and the Bank Group towards efficient implementation of the Bank’s African fisheries portfolio as follows :
The Bank will increase its efforts to contribute to the implementation of national fisheries and aquaculture programmes as defined under the CAADP ;
The NEPAD Secretariat was called upon to develop and strengthen its role in sharing information and experiences in the fisheries sector ; The Secretariat was urged to play a more active role in monitoring and evaluating projects in the fisheries jointly with the Bank ; The Secretariat was urged to support the Bank in establishing strategic partnerships in programme development to ensure that projects meet national development goals ;
NEPAD and the Bank to work together to define joint strategies/positions on major issues affecting fisheries and aquaculture ; Under the NEPAD action plan, and in partnership with the Bank, particular attention should be paid to the management of shared fisheries resources and the fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and the Bank will explore funding possibilities for regional programmes. Source : NEPAD, July 4, 2008
Emphasis on policies to uplift productivity of small-scale farmers As the world grapples with the food crisis, senior policymakers in Africa are developing appropriate policies to achieve a Green Revolution that will rapidly raise agricultural productivity for small-scale farmers.
More than 90 senior policymakers and leaders from the private sector, academia, civil society and farmers organisations gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, on 1 July 2008 to identify priority policies and institutions needed to achieve a uniquely African Green Revolution.
Representatives from 15 African countries, as well as others from Europe, the United States and Asia, participated in the two-day meeting convened by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
"Our goal is to end Africa’s perpetual food crisis by mobilising the political will and assisting countries in the development of policies that will enable Africa’s smallholder farmers to grow exponentially more food and end hunger," said AGRA president Dr. Namanga A. Ngongi.
Underscoring the need for a policy action agenda for Africa, William Ruto, Kenya’s Minister for Agriculture and Chairman of the African Council of Ministers of Agriculture, said : "The current world-wide food crisis has provided a wake-up call for the policymakers to reorient their planning process to provide viable and sustainable solutions for a Green Revolution which will dramatically increase agricultural productivity and lift the bulk of our population out of poverty."
The meeting addressed policies in four critical areas : seed and fertilizer markets ; finance and risk management ; product markets, strategic grain reserves and regional trade ; and land tenure and other social issues. It also discussed how to build the capacity of African policy analysts and institutions that will support evidence-based policy development.
"The centre of debate on policies for African agriculture needs to shift from Washington to Africa — and African countries, policymakers and stakeholders must lead the way," said Dr. Akin Adesina, AGRA’s vice-president of policy and partnerships.
"Capacity building to develop appropriate policies for the Green Revolution must be holistic, consider the entire value chain, and take a long-term view," said Dr. Harris Mule, Chancellor of Kenyatta University, Kenya, who co-chaired the meeting.
Participants recommended a range of possible policy responses, noting that one-size-fits-all policies will not work, and emphasising the need to recognise the diversity of African countries and agricultural systems.
Among the recommendations were policies that :
Specifically and intentionally benefit small-scale farmers ; Support market development, including the rapid scaling-up of networks of rural input shops known as "agro-dealers," who are able to get seeds, fertilizers and other farm inputs to remote rural areas ; Increase farmers’ and agro-dealers’ access to affordable credit and loans ;
Promote "smart" subsidies that enable poor smallholder farmers to access high quality seeds and fertilizers and other farm inputs ; Ensure that governments invest in public goods such as rural roads, irrigation, electricity, agricultural research and improved extension services ;
Secure the land-tenure rights of small-holder farmers, especially women who generally have more limited rights to land ownership ; Stabilise food prices for farmers and consumers ; And risk-mitigation policies, such as weather-indexed crop insurance — particularly important given projected negative impacts of climate change on African agriculture.
Participants also recommended that African countries and regions establish policy centres of excellence that would develop increased capacity in data collection, statistics and analysis, in close collaboration with African governments. Such centres would provide African countries with sound policy frameworks and build trust in policy formulation.
Dr. Praghu Pingali, head of agricultural policy and statistics of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said that African governments will need better data and statistics to improve policy decision-making.
Ensuring that appropriate monitoring and evaluation systems are in place is critical for assessing the impacts of policies on agricultural productivity, food security, rural employment and rural income, he said.
Participants expressed the need to strengthen partnerships. Prof. Richard Mkandawire, NEPAD agriculture advisor, said that partnership with all stakeholders is the way forward and the Nairobi gathering was an important first step in charting an agenda for action and greater focus on home-grown solutions to the continent’s food situation. Source : NEPAD, July 4, 2008