Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
Business Foundation leader spells out “encouraging results” The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) was formed after a long search for a framework to guide Africa’s socio-economic transformation. There was a need to address poverty and African marginalisation within the world economy. Also, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the UN in 2000 prompted the urgency to adopt and implement the MDGs.
This led to the launch of NEPAD by Presidents Bouteflika (Algeria), Mubarak (Egypt), Obasanjo (Nigeria), Wade (Senegal), and Mbeki (South Africa).
"NEPAD is a programme adopted by the African Union focusing on political leadership and accountability of African leaders ; to themselves, their people and their counterparts," said Dr. Reuel Khoza, Chairman of the NEPAD Business Foundation.
"NEPAD aims to promote and sustain socio-economic development and foster the adoption of policies that are in line with global practices. Its purpose is to eradicate poverty, halt the marginalisation of Africa in the globalisation process ; promote the empowerment and economic integration of women and to achieve the MDGs."
NEPAD is structured to provide leadership and management through the collective vision of African leaders seeking to promote a positive value system, norms and standards, Dr. Khoza said.
This is done through various committees ; Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC), NEPAD Steering Committee and the NEPAD Secretariat.
The eight priority areas of NEPAD are ; political, economic and corporate governance ; agriculture ; infrastructure ; education ; health ; science and technology ; market access and tourism ; and environment.
The African Peer Review Mechanism, accepted by member states of the African Union as an African self-monitoring mechanism, is important to the sustainability of NEPAD.
The APRM aims to foster the adoption of policies, standards and practices that lead to political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development and accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration through sharing of experiences and best practices.
In monitoring the progress made by NEPAD, African leaders have taken various steps to analyse its progress :
What has the international impact of NEPAD been ?
Are conditions for African development being addressed ?
Are leaders, countries and organisations now conducting business differently ?
Are perceptions about the continent changing ?
Have African relations with development partners changed ?
Has implementation of programmes and projects started ?
There have been encouraging and significant results registered during the last few years in a number of areas such as :
The African Union (AU) : It is leading in conflict resolution and peace building in several countries. Budgets, mandates and leadership of key organs of the AU are being reinforced.
Consolidation of democracy : Installation of democratic governments and improved macro-economic management on the continent has increased. Successful democratic elections and peaceful changes in leadership are more frequent with a reduction in unconstitutional changes in leadership. Post-conflict reconstruction initiatives are being developed. Good governance, democracy and the promotion of human rights are becoming the norm in Africa. African leaders have committed themselves to increasing national budget allocations.
African Peer Review Mechanism : The APRM has received international acclaim and the first set of reviews have been completed. Twenty-six countries have acceded to the APRM, and the process is addressing corruption, poor governance and inefficient delivery of public goods and services to their citizens.
Priority areas : Agriculture, infrastructure, ICTs, science and technology, environment and regional economic integration, which were not among top priorities on the development agenda of international partners, have now become core issues. Furthermore, the successful development and launch of the Investment Climate Facility (a public-private financial facility) has been implemented. This facility is aimed at making African countries more attractive to investment globally.
Health : The emergence of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria provides resources for the overarching strategy to address AIDS and its impact on development. Increased support for integrated health systems to deliver programmes and new approaches to training and retention of health workers is emerging. Countries have moved to implement the NEPAD Health Strategy and the partnership with the World Health Organisation continues to yield positive results.
Infrastructural development : In the past five years the African Development Bank and the World Bank have increased priority to projects under the NEPAD Short Term Action Plan for Infrastructure Development. A number of regional infrastructure projects have been brought to the implementation stage. Infrastructure development has also been given a further boost by the UN Millennium Project and the Commission for Africa recommending increased development partner support. Development partners have established the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa to meet priority infrastructure needs on the continent.
African economic growth : The average economic growth rate for the continent in 2004 was 5.4% (the highest in 8 years). It was projected in 2006 to increase to 5.7% and the challenge is to maintain the trend and to increase the rate further towards the 7% target.
Dr. Khoza further added that NEPAD has also forged global partnerships with industrialised and developing countries and multilateral organisations. This has resulted in increased development assistance (ODA) flows to Africa.
Over the past five years NEPAD has ensured increased ODA to Africa and African leaders have placed the African development agenda high on their priorities. It has been well received by the United Nations Office of the Special Advisor on Africa, the European Union, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Commonwealth and the World Trade Organisation.
"We face several challenges, such as strengthening and sustaining political leadership, capacity building, integration of NEPAD priorities into national development programmes, increasing multi-country infrastructure projects, widening APRM participation, converting pledges by developed countries into concrete actions and making ODA more effective” said Dr. Khoza.
"We need to continue with the advocacy of NEPAD at national, regional, continental and international levels to promote more support for Africa’s development.
“NEPAD is a long-term development programme. Critical success factors are enhanced political leadership, ownership by the people, strengthening the institutional human and financial capacity of national, regional and continental development institutions and increased support by the international community."
* The NEPAD Business Foundation’s mission is to create a platform for dialogue between the private and public sectors in order to actively partner the governments of the continent to realise the objectives of the NEPAD programme, as well as to serve as an instrument which will directly influence public sector policies, bring about greater trade synergies and co-ordination and craft a more enabling business environment.
The Foundation contributes actively to the implementation of the NEPAD Action Programme by ensuring constant communication between the NEPAD Secretariat and the business community, representing the interests and views of the private sector, and developing best practice standards in corporate governance for the entire region.
Submarine cable project gets the go-ahead The protocol on the policy and regulatory framework for the NEPAD ICT Broadband Infrastructure Network — known as the Kigali Protocol — came into force on 13 February 2008, when it was signed by the President of Malawi, Bingu Wa Mutharika, in Lilongwe.
Malawi became the seventh country to ratify the protocol. Other countries that have already ratified the protocol are : Lesotho, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Ratification by seven countries was the majority needed to bring the protocol into force.
The NEPAD e-Africa Commission, tasked with developing ICT policies, strategies and projects, and managing the development of the ICT sector, has been coordinating the signing and ratification of the Kigali Protocol.
Said Dr Henry Chasia, the Executive Deputy Chairperson of the NEPAD e-Africa Commission : “What this development means is that we can now go ahead to quickly implement the NEPAD ICT Broadband Infrastructure Network, comprising of UHURUNET (the submarine cable), and UMOJANET (the terrestrial segment), to provide quality and affordable telecommunications connectivity to Eastern and Southern Africa and to the rest of the African continent.
“This network will be a major step in interconnecting the African continent and thus helping to bridge the digital divide and improving the lives of Africans.
“The partnerships and collaboration among African countries will be epitomised by the joint ownership, development and operation of the NEPAD network,” Dr. Chasia said.
“The countries that did not sign the Kigali Protocol by the deadline of 30 November 2006 can now accede to the Protocol and benefit from the NEPAD network”, Dr. Chasia said.
The Kigali Protocol was negotiated by a wide range of stakeholders and was accepted and signed by 12 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa.
It takes account of the NEPAD network principles in the development of a policy and regulatory framework for the region, as well as in the details of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) that will own, operate and maintain the NEPAD network.
Said Dr. Edmund Katiti, the NEPAD ICT policy and regulatory advisor : “We can now take the necessary steps to bring together entities that were nominated to be shareholders in the NEPAD submarine SPV to discuss issues such as a shareholders agreement, and thereafter form the SPV.
“We expect construction of the submarine cable to start soon, and to be completed before the 2010 FIFA World Cup”.
It is envisaged that once implemented, the NEPAD ICT Broadband Infrastructure Initiative will greatly reduce the costs of telecommunications and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of how Africa does business with the rest of the world.
The countries that signed the Kigali Protocol are : Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
The inaugural signing of the NEPAD Broadband ICT Infrastructure Network was held in Kigali, Rwanda on 29 August 2006. Source : NEPAD, february 22, 2008