Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
is to be convened in Abuja, Nigeria, in November 2006 to brainstorm a review of the achievements of NEPAD and possible improvements of its programs and operations. This follows a decision taken at this year’s Assembly of the African Union in Khartoum, Sudan.
NEPAD, adopted as the African Union’s programme for development, is very different from its predecessors. It focuses on political leadership and will, whereby African leaders undertake to lead differently and be accountable to their people and to each other.
Through instruments like the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), African leaders promote collective action by like-minded leaders to reinforce the adoption of and adherence to best practices and ensure sustained reforms.
Some key principles and values of NEPAD include : the promotion and protection of democracy and human rights, commitment to good political, economic and corporate governance, empowerment of women, partnerships between governments and key stakeholders, business, professional organisations and civil society.
Above all, it calls for a change in the donor/recipient relationship between highly industrialised countries and multilateral development institutions on the one hand and African countries on the other. It calls for the relationship to be transformed into a genuine partnership based on mutual respect, responsibility and accountability.
NEPAD is a vision and a framework for transformation, reform and renewal. It is also a long-term, holistic, integrated and comprehensive programme focusing on changing the way business is conducted in Africa for the better. It is about addressing the conditions for development and setting a conducive environment to ensure sustainable development and growth.
NEPAD’s objectives are to inspire and energise socio-economic development across the continent and to foster adoption of policies that are in line with international basic practice.
Unique feature of NEPAD programmes Through NEPAD, African countries commit themselves to create conducive conditions for sustained economic growth and sustainable development and to mobilise the African people to become the main agents of development.
The unique feature of the NEPAD programme is that African leaders have assumed the duty to take action to uplift Africa out of poverty and underdevelopment. In all the sectoral programmes, the responsibilities and duties of African leaders and the African people are highlighted. The call to the international community is for equity and support to implement the African Agenda.
NEPAD’s revolutionary agenda provides a leadership and management structure to ensure implementation and deal with the challenges that require continental coordination. It is an all-embracing strategic framework to address the continent’s crises of poverty and underdevelopment.
It is not just about projects and money. It is a collective vision of African leaders seeking to promote a positive value system, norms, and standards. It is a transformative agenda for the continent, designed by its leaders.
Progress is being made in the manner in which they are managing conflicts, promoting democracy and human rights, enhancing macro economic balances and public financial management, and strengthening African institutions.
Through NEPAD, Africa has created an effective leadership process for engaging the developed countries and multilateral institutions on issues of concern to the continent, such as international trade arrangements, equitable access of African products to international markets, debt cancellation, Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) reforms and the impact of current international financial and investment arrangements on Africa.
Role of national governments The NEPAD founding document makes it very clear that it is national governments and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) that must drive the socio-economic renewal agenda.
The continental programme provides mainly a vision and a policy framework for igniting a movement to consolidate democracy and good governance throughout the continent. It covers eight priority areas :
Political, economic & corporate governance ;
Science and Technology ;
Market access, and tourism ; and
These projects are part of the NEPAD process at the priority sector and programme level.
NEPAD is essentially a catalysing, coordinating, mobilising, unblocking and energising agent. Judging by the rapid increase in the number of government ministries adopting NEPAD policy frameworks and programmes for their respective sectors, as well as the recent increase in the number of countries signing the African Peer Review Mechanism, NEPAD has consolidated its role as the vehicle for effective socio-economic renewal in Africa.
NEPAD’s added value is derived from the fact that it brings together dedicated political champions for implementation. The fact that it is relatively flexible and less constrained by protocol and bureaucratic practice enables it to provide a forum for open and frank dialogue.
In analysing progress made since the launch of NEPAD in 2001, it should be borne in mind that transforming a country and a continent is a process that cannot be achieved in a short time span. The development of the European project, which took about 25 years to materialise is a good point of comparison.
Reform and transformation agenda NEPAD is essentially a reform and transformation agenda to change the way African countries, regional African groupings and Africa’s international partners have conducted their affairs in the past.
In conceptualising NEPAD, African leaders understood that the transformation processes they had embarked on would take decades or even generations to accomplish. Analyses of progress to date should therefore focus on issues such as :
What has been the impact resulting from the existence of NEPAD ?
Have trends that existed 5 years ago been reversed ?
Are the conditions for development being addressed ?
Are leaders, countries and organisations now conducting their business differently ?
Are perceptions about the continent changing ?
Have the nature and the content of the relationship with development partners changed ?
Has implementation of programmes and projects started ?
A balance is required between reviewing NEPAD as a framework — and ensuring that there is progress in terms of projects and programmes in order to show success stories and make NEPAD relevant to the daily lives of the African people.
Source : nepad news - august 11, 2006