Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
South Africa is committed to NEPAD and ensuring that it is able to place African countries, both individually and collectively, on a path of sustainable growth and development, halt the marginalisation of Africa in the globilisation process, and enhance Africa’s full and beneficial integration into the global economy.
These were the words of South Africa’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Mandisi Mpahlwa, when he addressed the gala dinner for delegates to the NEPAD Projects Conference held in Sandton on 8-9 October 2007.
Other points made by the Minister were :
It is because of the strength of South Africa’s economy that we have a crucial responsibility and opportunity to become key partners in the formation of a new economy for Africa.
South Africa has invested significantly in Africa’s oil and gas industry, information and communication technologies, retail, banking, entertainment and tourism industries.
The most recent economic data shows that low rates of growth in Africa in the late 1990s have been overturned and we saw a 5.1 per cent increase in Africa’s real gross domestic in both 2004 and 2005. This outperformed the world average of 3.3 per cent by nearly 2 per cent.
Following this impressive performance, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development predicted a growth rate of 5.8 per cent in 2006, driven primarily by Africa’s oil producers where growth is likely to be in the region of 6.9 per cent. These positive economic developments were underpinned by the lowest rate of average inflation in 25 years.
It is not surprising then that a recent survey showed that a majority of Africans are optimistic about the future : in fact, no other people in the world showed the same or higher level of optimism.
The South African Government would like to see all South African investment, including that of the private sector make a positive contribution to the economic development and industrialisation of the continent.
The NEPAD Business Foundation has developed a voluntary code of conduct for business which should be supported. The South African Government believes that the country’s private sector has an exceptional opportunity to partake in achieving the vision of NEPAD. NEPAD News, 0ctober 12, 2007
Representatives of about 70 government departments, 140 private sector representatives and more than 50 civil society participants attended the NEPAD Projects Conference in Sandton on 8-9 October 2007, hosted by the NEPAD Secretariat in co-operation with the South African Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Trade and Industry and the NEPAD Business Foundation. The conference was officially opened by Mandisi Mphalwa, Minister of Trade and Industry.
Other distinguished guests included Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, Minister of Public Service and Administration, Suzette van der Merwe, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Augusto Tomás Salomão, Executive Secretary of SADC, Prof. Firmino Mucavele, Chief Executive of the NEPAD Secretariat, Prof. Wiseman Nkuhlu, Presidential Advisor on NEPAD, Amb. Abdul Minty, Deputy Director-General and Presidential Advisor on NEPAD, and the Archbishop of Cape Town, Njongokulu Ndugane.
The private sector was represented by Dr. Reuel Khosa, Chairman of the NEPAD Business Foundation and other eminent personalities.
The conference reaffirmed the strategic significance of NEPAD as a platform to mobilise all Africans, at an individual and institutional level, to work together to eradicate poverty and to set the continent on a path of sustainable economic growth and development. The conference reiterated the fact that the imperatives that led to the launch of NEPAD remain as relevant today as they were in 2001.
To realise the NEPAD vision there was general consensus among participants of the need to scale-up implementation to make NEPAD meaningful in the life of ordinary citizens.
The private sector and civil society in South Africa were called upon to strengthen their partnerships with the South Africa Government as well as other regional and continental institutions such as SADC, NEPAD and the African Union in order to achieve the objectives of regional and continental integration.
The conference identified numerous opportunities within South Africa and beyond in the NEPAD priority sectors — agriculture, infrastructure, ICT, education, health, science and technology as well as environment and tourism.
The spatial development approach and the establishment of transfrontier parks were particularly highlighted as useful vehicles to unlock the economic potential of the continent and to further strengthen the linkages between the South African economy and the rest of the region and the continent.
The discussions emphasised the need for a more pro-active approach by the South African private sector in terms of :
local economic development, through participation in cross-border programmes, such as growth corridors and transfrontier conservation and development areas ;
the implementation of South Africa’s APRM Programme of Action in all four thematic areas — democracy and political governance, economic governance and management, corporate governance and socio-economic development ;
the use of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).
Based on the imperative to translate the outcomes of the conference into concrete deliverables, the NEPAD Secretariat, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Trade and Industry, and the NEPAD Business Foundation were tasked with the responsibility of designing a way forward. NEPAD News, 0ctober 12, 2007