Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
Kgalema Motlanthe, deputy president of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) took over as President of South Africa on 25 September 2008 after Parliament in Cape Town voted to accept the resignation of Thabo Mbeki.
Mbeki’s resignation followed accusations by a High Court judge in a ruling on 11 September that the Presidency had subverted the organs of state in pursuing the long-standing prosecution of the president of the ANC, Jacob Zuma, on charges of corruption and fraud. The judge set aside the indictment against Zuma.
Mbeki has since announced his intention to take the issue on appeal to the country’s Constitutional Court.
President Motlanthe will serve the remaining months of Mbeki’s second and last five-year term of office until a general election is held around April 2009 when it is generally expected that Jacob Zuma will become President of South Africa.
Thabo Mbeki was one of the founding fathers of NEPAD and chairman of the African Union in 2002. NEPAD - september 26, 2008
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. NEPAD - september 26, 2008
NEPAD’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) was launched for the Ethiopian Government in Addis Ababa on 6 September 2008 by the State Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Abrea Deresa, at a ceremony attended by a delegation from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) led by Assistant Secretary General (Programmes), Stephen Karangizi. Senior Ethiopian Government officials, representatives from the private sector, development partners and civil society also attended.
Addressing the delegates, Dr. Deresa said CAADP could be considered one of the most important activities of NEPAD in addressing the main challenges in Africa.
He said Ethiopian agricultural development programmes fall in line with CAADP’s agenda of building Africa’s economy through the development of agriculture.
“CAADP’s pillars are also in full agreement with Ethiopia’s plan for accelerated and sustained development to end poverty (PASDEP) and also have the same focus areas developed within a sector working group on rural economic development and food security,” Dr. Deresa said.
Ethiopia had surpassed the CAADP minimum national budgetary allocation requirement of 10% to agriculture, he added.
“In Ethiopia, currently, the budget allocation to the agriculture sector is 16%. As a result, there has been a promising trend in raising agricultural productivity by more than 10%”.
He said Ethiopia’s agricultural strategies focus on raising the productivity of smallholder farmers through maximum use of agricultural land and labour, with equal emphasis on the private investment sector.
Targeting areas that reduce poverty COMESA’s Stephen Karangizi noted that African leaders had identified agricultural-led development as key to the restoration of food security and rural development.
He congratulated Ethiopia for exceeding the CAADP budgetary target of 10% and agricultural growth rate target of 6%.
“In Ethiopia therefore, COMESA and CAADP will focus very strongly on supporting the Government to remain in touch with their agricultural growth agenda and to reach even higher growth”, he said.
“Most importantly, CAADP in Ethiopia will target sectors that effectively reduce poverty. A particular key area that will be considered for expanded support is the livestock sector in which Ethiopia leads the region as far as livestock population is concerned.”
He said CAADP would provide Ethiopia with an opportunity to consolidate and focus on the key pillars required to attain a long-term self-sufficiency in agricultural production.
COMESA’s Investment Promotion Private Sector Development Programme director, Dr. Chung Mwila emphasised CAADP’s importance to African agriculture.
The CAADP framework was a realisation of the African leaders’ vision to put African agriculture at the centre of African development, he said.
A representative of the German Technical Cooperation Agency (GTZ) Dr. Andrea Bahm said that donors in Ethiopia will work to align with the CAADP agenda. NEPAD - september 26, 2008
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) launched a process to develop a regional fisheries and aquaculture strategy in line with NEPAD’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) at a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya on 2-3 September 2008.
In the COMESA region, harvest from capture fisheries rose steadily throughout the 1980s and 1990s but has stagnated since then, reaching about 2.2 million tonnes in 2003. Aquaculture on the other hand has risen but totalling only about 475,000 tonnes in the region, of which Egypt alone contributed 445,000 tonnes in 2003.
Trade in fish and fish products is a growing economic sector in the COMESA region with an annual value of at least US$765m, though much of the actual trade is unreported and undervalued.
However, as the overall population in sub-Saharan Africa is growing, it means that the per capita consumption of fish in the COMESA region has fallen in the past 20 years, with uncertain impacts on human health and economic development.
Therefore COMESA convened the regional meeting in Nairobi on 2-3 September 2008 to prepare a regional fisheries strategy in line with the CAADP as guided by the AU/NEPAD action plan for the development of African fisheries and aquaculture.
Why a strategy ? The strategy aims at preparing a framework for developing the potential for sustained growth of the fish sector in the COMESA region. It will be used to guide COMESA in developing specific intervention programmes, implemented by member states in regional collaboration and with well defined roles for private sector and civil society agencies.
The strategy will be embedded in COMESA’s wider agricultural programme and will be linked specifically to the development of national and regional compacts under the CAADP.
What are the critical issues for the strategy ? In addition to identifying key opportunities on critical constraints to the three sub-sectors — aquaculture, inland and marine fisheries — the meeting also identified constraints which fell into three broad categories : legislative and regulatory mechanism ; knowledge and capacity ; and infrastructure and market access.
The Nairobi meeting noted that generally the public fisheries institutions in many COMESA member states lack the capacity to articulate the economic opportunities presented by the fisheries sector. Consequently, many countries have poor national policies, training and research facilities, and legislative frameworks as well as regulatory mechanisms that take into account the trans-boundary nature of the fisheries sector.
It was also noted that many member states of the COMESA region have not taken full advantage of the grouping as a trade block because of poor trade infrastructure (policies, regulations ; value-addition). The region still experiences high cost of trade because of freight and poor knowledge of trade.
Despite advances in information and communication technology (ICT), trade information is very poor in the region, as a lot of trade is going on unreported and the COMESA Secretariat still does not have a clear picture of the regional trends in demand and supply.
Investment opportunities need finance The fisheries private sector in many countries is also barely developed. Despite the investment opportunities presented by the fish farming sub-sector, many financial institutions (e.g. commercial banks) still lack the knowledge of how to lend to potential aquaculture investors. In addition, poor development of the macro-financial institutions has not helped the development of the small-scale fisheries sub-sector, particularly women entrepreneurs, who play a very significant role in the processing and trading of fish.
A task team comprising experts from COMESA and the NEPAD Secretariat, with technical support from the WorldFish Centre, is drafting the strategy which is expected to be ready for review by member states by December 2008, and endorsement by Ministers by February 2009.
The meeting was attended by 11 member states — Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Egypt, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Seychelles, Mauritius, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe --- and partners from the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation, WorldFish Centre, NEPAD, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and AquaFish CRSP-Oregon State University. The Minister of Fisheries Development in Kenya, Dr. Paul Otuoma, was also present. NEPAD - september 26, 2008
A preliminary Pan-African investment index with the aim of attracting socially responsible capital from private investors worldwide to spur socio-economic development on the continent and help achieve the Millennium Development Goals was launched by NEPAD and Africa Investor (Ai) in New York on 17 September 2008.
The United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Advisor on Africa, Cheick Sidi Diarra, said the Ai30 Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) index — a benchmark based on global best practices for promoting good corporate governance, environmental preservation and social development and adapted to Africa’s operating environment — would be a vital tool for closing the region’s funding shortfall.
Investing a mere 1 per cent — or $30 billion — of the world’s almost $3 trillion sovereign wealth funds in Africa would go a long way in sustaining strong economic growth, he said.
“That’s very important. It’s a source of mobilising resources in order to meet the resource gaps of the continent. That is the aim of our discussions today,” he added, noting that Africa’s gross domestic product had expanded by an average 5 per cent annually in the last five years, according to the World Bank.
Echoing those sentiments, Bamanga Tukur, chairman of the NEPAD Business Group and of Africa Investor, a provider of strategic research, indices, communications and investment, said that ending extreme poverty in Africa — where millions lived on less than $1 a day — required socially responsible equity investment rather than loans, which merely saddled the continent with heavy debt.
Ai vice-chairman Hubert Danso added that, in structuring the SRI index, Ai had taken into account the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, NEPAD’s African Peer Review Mechanism, investors’ concerns and the input of an expert review group comprising the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE), Investec, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Fraters Asset Management.
From 2005 to 2007, SRI investment had grown 17 per cent while, traditionally, investment expanded just 3 per cent, Danso said. By 2011, the inflow of socially responsible assets under management would reach $11 trillion. Ai30 would be the only Pan-African SRI initiative capable of meeting the stringent investment criteria of global SRI funds.
Earlier on 17 September before the launch of the SRI index, the United Nations participated in an SRI conference with Ai, private-sector investors and hedge fund managers, among other members of the financial sector, in advance of the General Assembly’s 22 September High-level Meeting on Africa’s Development Needs.
“We expect that some new commitments by the private sector will be made which will feed into the (high-level) process,” said Amir Dossal, Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Partnerships, noting that participants had discussed the idea of referring to sovereign wealth funds as sovereign wealth development funds to stress a socially responsible focus.
Responding to a question about the potential impact of the current Wall Street crisis on investment in Africa, Dossal said the net loss of billions of dollars on global markets would indeed exacerbate the $80 billion shortfall in official development assistance intended to help the least developed countries meet the Millennium targets.
However, as the sovereign wealth funds were interested in investment rather than aid, the pace of investment in those funds should continue.
Africa’s high gross domestic product growth rate was increasingly attracting private investors. New stock exchanges were opening and basic investment and savings options were being created, rather than sophisticated instruments such as mortgage-backed securities.
Concerning commitments by sovereign wealth funds to invest in Africa, Danso said that, rather than securing specific commitments from investors, the SRI discussions had succeeded mainly in identifying a comfortable and familiar structure for the international investment community to build the SRI index.
* African Press Organisation. Source : Office of the United Nations Secretary-General.
Resolute leadership is needed to transform existing commitments into action to meet African development needs, a senior United Nations official stressed, days before the major United Nations General Assembly gathering on the issue.
Under-Secretary-General Cheick Sidi Diarra, the UN special advisor on Africa, told a press conference that the high-level meeting on African development, to be attended by representatives of more than 160 countries, including many world leaders, should serve to help streamline actions and upgrade priorities towards NEPAD.
Diarra warned that Africa’s economic development still faces enormous obstacles, including violent conflict, internal public mismanagement and, in some cases, a lack of international support.
He added that “resolution and leadership is needed to turn existing African and international commitments into results,” urging the international community to show greater support.
Many countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, are lagging in the race to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – such as the halving of extreme poverty – by the target date of 2015. (UN News Service)
The Lesotho Government has urged other African countries to actively engage with NEPAD to embrace NEPAD programmes and endeavour to implement them in order to address poverty and other challenges facing the continent.
The call was made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Mohlabi Tsekoa, when he addressed a national stakeholder engagement workshop held in Maseru from 15-17 September 2008.
African countries should work at harmonising policies to enhance and increase trade and foreign direct investment in individual countries on the continent, the Minister said.
“Africa can form a formidable fair trade partnership with Western countries if it unites through partnerships such as NEPAD”.
The Minister said solutions to abject poverty, marginalisation and economic emancipation lay in the continent’s human resource through initiatives such as NEPAD.
Most African governments had high expectations at the formation of NEPAD as a vehicle to facilitate the continent’s development in partnership with the developed world. However most African countries had so far not benefited from NEPAD programmes because of inertia in embracing innovation.
“Africa ’s hopes of developing can be kept alive through initiatives such as NEPAD,” he said.
The Minister also attributed the failure by some African countries to embrace initiatives such as NEPAD to lack of understanding of the various issues surrounding the initiative.
Speaking earlier NEPAD Deputy Chief Executive Dr. Hesphina Rukato urged African governments to expedite the adoption and implementation of NEPAD programmes at various levels.
Dr. Rukato said NEPAD would continue to work closely with cooperating partners regional communities and individual countries in order to expedite the implementation of various projects.
She added that NEPAD was working towards promoting partnerships with the private sector in African countries to enhance development.
Governments and citizens must expedite the ownership of the African vision to develop their countries. This should be in line with the spirit of NEPAD which African Heads of State cited as an African solution to Africa ’s problems.
The NEPAD Deputy CEO urged the media in African countries to articulate NEPAD issues and ensure that they are understood by the grassroots.
She noted that the media were important partners in development and as such should endeavour to be ambassadors of positive development programmes such as NEPAD. NEPAD - september 26, 2008
Zambia’s President Mwanawasa was one of the new leadership that champions Africa’s development and the NEPAD Secretariat received news of his untimely death with sadness, said NEPAD Deputy CEO, Dr. Hesphina Rukato, who added that the late Head of State was one of the key drivers of NEPAD.
She spoke at the NEPAD stakeholders meeting in Lesotho ’s capital, Maseru, where a moment of silence was observed by the delegates in honour of Dr. Mwanawasa.
Dr. Rukato described President Mwanawasa as a champion of good governance through which he earned much support from the international community.
President Mwanawasa’s death had come at a time when Zambia through his efforts had started engaging with NEPAD with a view to fully integrating into NEPAD development projects.
“NEPAD is positive that Zambians will handle the transition period peacefully and the partnership is looking forward to working with the Zambian people on NEPAD projects,” she said.
She urged the Zambian people to continue upholding the rule of law and good governance which Dr. Mwanawasa championed, values that were a prerequisite for national development. NEPAD - september 26, 2008
Request for tenders :
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 : NEPAD - september 26, 2008