Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
Construction has begun on NEPAD’s UHURUNET undersea cable network which is due to be completed in time to provide international communications for the 2010 FIFA World Cup that will take place in South Africa in 2010. The fibre optic submarine segment of the network will initially run from Durban, South Africa, to Port Sudan in Sudan.
Construction of the cable means that African governments must start formulating policies that favour the development of ICT and communication networks in the region, said Radakrishan Roy Padayache, Ugandan Deputy Minister for Communication.
Governments must ensure that telecom infrastructure becomes available not only in urban areas but also in remote rural areas to ease communication problems, he added.
"This will enable an ordinary person to access the Internet, mobile phone service and fixed-line phones, which is currently not the case," the Deputy Minister said.
With a capacity of 3.84 terabits/sec, the cable will connect Africa directly to the Indian subcontinent, Middle East, Europe, and Brazil. It also provides for landing points to every coastal and inland country in Africa.
The completion of the cable network is expected to greatly contribute to reduction of telecommunications costs that have been a hindrance to doing business in Africa.
The submarine segment of the NEPAD network has been named UHURUNET ; its terrestrial segment, UMOJANET ; and the holding company of the submarine cable BAHARICOM. These words are Swahili, an indigenous African language of the African Union.
UHURU means freedom or independence, which in this case signifies economic independence – a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Ghana’s independence from colonial rule which was celebrated in Accra by the Heads of State in July 2007.
UMOJA means unity. UMOJANET which links all the African countries with ICT broadband signifies the importance of unity of African countries. BAHARI means ocean. This indicates the location of the network. BAHARICO is the company that brings together the investment of Africans across the ocean.
The NEPAD Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), established under the Kigali protocol to construct, own, maintain and operate the NEPAD ICT broadband infrastructure network, including the undersea cable, will own 30 percent (the single largest investor in the company), the African investors and African ICT companies 45 percent and the international philanthropic and other investors 25 percent.
The e-Africa Commission is NEPAD’s task team for the development and implementation of the NEPAD ICT programme. Together with the Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund it will coordinate and promote the African participation in the submarine cable project.
29 September - 3 October, Africa Forum meeting under the theme “Making agri-business work for rural livelihoods : CAADP implementation at country level”, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
27 - 29 October, RUROFORUM Ministers meeting, Lusaka, Zambia. Source : NEPAD, september 19. 2008
In July 2001, the 37th Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Summit adopted the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) as its integrated and comprehensive socio-economic development programme in Lusaka, Zambia. The inaugural Summit of the African Union held in Durban, South Africa, in July 2002 later adopted NEPAD as a programme of the African Union (AU) through Declaration ASS/AU/ Decl. 1 (I).
In July 2003, Heads of State and Government agreed on the need to promote better management of Africa’s new policy architecture for development in order to engender more cohesive and effective delivery. The African Union Commission (AUC) was accordingly mandated to operationalise the integration of NEPAD into the AU structures and processes. However, integration did not materialize in spite of numerous efforts until the 18th NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC) and 10th AU Summit of January/February 2008, which adopted the Decision (Assembly/AU/ Dec.191(X)) to proceed with NEPAD integration and the creation of a NEPAD Planning and Coordination Authority, immediately, and in an expeditious manner.
MAIN GOALS OF THE STUDY
The main aim of the study is to determine the modalities for integrating NEPAD into the structures and processes of the AU as well as the creation of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Authority/Agency, as a successor to the NEPAD Secretariat. To this end, the major goals of the study would be to develop the mandate, configuration, structure and profile of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Authority as an integral part of the African Union. The study should also identify the administrative and financial requirements necessary for the smooth integration and incorporation of NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Authority personnel into the organisational structure of the AU.
Herein, the financial resource requirements and sustainable financing mechanisms necessary for the work of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Authority should also be identified.
The African Union Commission wishes to appoint qualified consultants with proven experience of research in international relations, change management, organizational transformation, business development, financial management and statistical analysis. The Consultants should be predominantly African and composed of a multi disciplinary team.
The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2008.
More information on the tender and how to apply can be obtained by downloading the Terms of Reference (ToR) from the African Union (AU) website www.africa-union.org under employment or sending an e-mail to Victoria Forster-Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org : Source : NEPAD, september 19. 2008
In the recent past the NEPAD Secretariat has been providing an update on the implementation of the Capacity Development Initiative. As part of the implementation and rolling out of the programme, the Secretariat is developing a comprehensive database of experts and consultants in the field of capacity development. The experts will support, on a needs basis, the rolling out of the Africa-wide Capacity Development Strategic Framework (CDSF) at country and regional levels.
The aim of the NEPAD Capacity Development Initiative is to encourage countries to embark on transformation processes leading to improved efficiency and effectiveness in the implementation of development agendas through mobilisation of untapped potential, including motivation for change in attitude for performance excellence. Source : NEPAD, september 19. 2008
Ways in which NEPAD and its programmes on agriculture, peer review, infrastructure, trade, health and education can be integrated into Lesotho’s national programmes were discussed at a national stakeholder engagement workshop held in Maseru from 15-17 September 2008.
“We have high expectations of Lesotho in terms of the promotion and installation of NEPAD in Lesotho. It is important that Lesotho fast-tracks the alignment of NEPAD into its national development plans,” said Dr. Hesphina Rukato, NEPAD Deputy CEO, at the official opening of the workshop.
Speaking at the workshop, Lesotho’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Mohlabi Tsekoa, called on the participants to identify real development opportunities for Lesotho through the NEPAD framework.
“There can be no doubt that if we act in unity and harmonise ourselves Lesotho will benefit from NEPAD’s development plans”, he said.
“We need to turn NEPAD into real tangible national projects that are of benefit to the alleviation of poverty for our people”.
The workshop brought together a cross-section of participants including officials from the Lesotho Government, the private sector, civil society and NEPAD sectoral advisers.
Lesotho is one of the six new member states elected into the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC) at the 11th Assembly of the African Union in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt in July 2008. The committee is responsible for overseeing the coordination and implementation of NEPAD.
In terms of fast-tracking the NEPAD agenda at the level of Lesotho’s “Vision 20-20” development plans, participants at the workshop agreed to collaborate on :
The establishment of a national NEPAD focal point ; The appointment of a high-level representative from Lesotho onto the NEPAD Steering Committee ; Getting Lesotho to present its African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) report at the next African Union Heads of State meeting in January 2009 ; The identification of sectors that can be prioritised and invested in by the Lesotho Government, the private sector in Lesotho and by the development partners. Engagements with the media In addition to the engagements between NEPAD and the stakeholders in Lesotho, special consultations were also held with the media about NEPAD and the role they can play in reporting on NEPAD at the national level.
Speaking at the workshop Dr. Andrew Kanyegirire, NEPAD CAADP communications manager, called on the media to be analytical in their coverage, to identify the benefits of NEPAD for the people of Lesotho.
As part of the process of deepening the role of the media in communicating national NEPAD developments, participants at the workshop agreed to :
Identify a national NEPAD media point person ; Work towards the training of journalists in the interests of professionalism ; Work towards setting up an information repository on NEPAD ; Identify ways in which the journalists in Lesotho can be integrated more fully into the growing network of journalists on NEPAD related issues. Source : NEPAD, september 19. 2008
Kenya will soon launch its progress report on activities related to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). It was one of the 10 pioneer countries to accede to the APRM in March 2003 and one of the first countries to undergo the peer review, which culminated in President Mwai Kibaki presenting the country review report to his peers in June 2006 in Banjul, the Gambia.
The APRM progress report will cover the period June 2006 to June 2008. It assesses the implementation of the programmes aimed at addressing governance challenges highlighted in the APRM National Programme of Action and the most important issues identified in the country review report.
The progress report was compiled using desk research and expert analysis, focus group discussions, sectoral forums, and input from Ministries.
The NEPAD Kenya Secretariat went to all the provinces between 17-28 May 2008 with four teams including staff, expert consultants and representatives of civil society, targeting areas of conflict during the post-election crisis.
One of the highlights of the report is the observation that if the comprehensive land reforms are not implemented, inter-ethnic conflicts relating to land could continue.
Stakeholders also expressed concerns about the lack of clarity on the part of the Government on the constitutional review process. Kenyans were also surprised that the 2008/09 Budget did not allocate funds for the constitutional review process.
Kenyans were also concerned about the failure of Government to respect the official retirement age of 55, as evidenced by the number of permanent secretaries in service after the official retirement age.
Another concern was the Government’s failure to prosecute the Goldenberg suspects, casting doubt on its commitment to fight corruption. They recommended that the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) be decentralised, and that it be given prosecutorial powers.
People living in areas such as Embu, Murang’a, and Nyeri, said that the districts had reported substantial economic growth in the various sectors of economy. They said roads had been built, health facilities upgraded, agricultural markets expanded, education institutions well equipped, security enhanced, water and sanitation services improved and employment opportunities increased.
However in Isiolo the people said the area had reported negative economic growth, resulting in deteriorating health facilities, poor road infrastructure, rising insecurity and poor water and sanitation services.
The residents said they could not understand the rationale behind paying Government taxes when the local economy was hitting a record low, reeling under poor service provision.
Kenyan women observed that there were serious flaws in accessing the Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) because of lack of information on procedures, difficulties in forming groups of at least 10 people as required by the rules and in submitting proposals in writing.
The youth complained that they could not access the Youth Development Fund because of bureaucracy. They called for sanctions against officials who embezzle funds and for revising the laws governing the Constituencies Development Fund (CDF), including barring Members of Parliament from selecting the members of CDF committees.
Stakeholders welcomed the introduction of free primary education in 2003 and free secondary education in 2008. With free secondary education they complained that the waiver of tuition fees did not make much difference because it was the smallest of fees charged in secondary schools.
They noted that teachers demanded extra tuition fees and that the yearly revision of text books imposed an extra burden on parents.
Stakeholders also expressed frustration at the quality of health services, including insufficient and uncommitted staff and lack of drugs. Source : NEPAD, september 19. 2008