Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
He was speaking at the NEPAD multi-stakeholder dialogue in Abuja, Nigeria, on 29 October 2006, which was organised to review, explore, debate and identify mechanisms for accelerating the implementation of NEPAD.
Dr. Mkwezalamba said that while the continent’s key challenges in peace and security, governance and human rights, and in economic and social areas have been undermining Africa’s development, NEPAD and its African Peer Review Mechanism are taking the continent forward towards sustainable development and poverty reduction.
He cited a range of advances, but emphasised the challenges on the way forward, not the least of which are those hindering from economic progress.
Prof. Firmino Mucavele, Chief Executive of the NEPAD Secretariat, outlined how NEPAD projects and programmes are implemented at the continental, regional and national level, all within the framework of partnership, empowerment and self-reliance.
NEPAD functions also include project guidelines, advocacy, alignment of development partners, advancing partnerships with stakeholders, resource mobilisation, advice and technical expertise, capacity building and collation and dissemination of trends, lessons and best practices.
The Professor said that lessons learnt over the past five years include the need to enhance institutional capacity for all facets of conceptualisation, planning, implementation and evaluation ; incorporation of NEPAD into national development plans ; reinforce partnerships within Africa and with development partners ; and to harness sufficient financial and human resources for development.
NEPAD has offered a new comprehensive and holistic policy framework for African development supported by indicative plans for all sectors. These are being implemented as harmonised and synchronised programmes and dialogue has led to development partners pledging to support these programmes and there has been a reverse in the decline in development flows.
Economic growth has averaged 5.1%, African stakeholders and institutions have been energised and are working together in a spirit of commitment, ownership and partnership.
Professor Mucavele said African optimism and positive developments have gained attention through effective communication and advocacy of progress towards achieving the NEPAD values and goals.
The personal involvement of African leaders has been key to these advances, while the APRM shows commitment to enhancing democracy and good governance, and the Gender Task Force is a focus that mainstreams gender into NEPAD. But there is still much to do in taking NEPAD as a whole forward, he added.
After further discussions the dialogue continued in four breakaway groups — on governance, resource mobilisation, capacity building and partnerships. The groups explored significant achievements made by NEPAD, challenges faced and recommendations for action that would strengthen implementation of NEPAD.
The chairperson of the report back session of the breakaways, Ambassador Ali Hassan of Egypt reflected on the recognition by each of the breakaways of the enormous progress made by and importance of NEPAD in socio-economic development,. At the same time there are still challenges to be overcome.
A number of areas for action were commonly identified by different breakaways and these should receive particular attention, he added. Multi-factorial bottlenecks in accessing resources, including capacity building, all need to be unblocked.
Source : nepad news, november 10, 2006