NEPAD at the Crossroads
Adopted in Lusaka in July 2001 during the 37th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the OAU, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD); created from the merger of the Millennium Action Plan and the Omega Plan, will be 10 years old in July 2011. An Anniversary that coincides with its integration into the African Union process will be placed under the banner of reflection. In February 2010, the 14th Assembly of the AU decided to establish the NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency (NEPAD Agency) as the technical organ of the AU, to replace the NEPAD Secretariat.
From NEPAD Secretariat to the NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency
We pay tribute to the NEPAD Secretariat for the definition of the structured and operational frameworks of priority sectoral projects and programmes in the domains of Infrastructure, Agriculture and Food security, Education, ICT, Gender and Development.
In this regard, we could mention the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), the AU/NEPAD Africa Action Plan (AAP), the Protocol on Policy and Regulatory Framework for AU/NEPAD ICT Broadband Infrastructure, the Environment Action Plan, the Consolidated Action Plan on Science and Technology etc.
But, for greater visibility and coherence in the actions and in order to avoid any duplication with the African Union Commission, the Heads of State meeting in Maputo in 2003, clearly recommended the integration of NEPAD into the AU structures and process.
In the aftermath of a participatory process of consultation among stakeholders, the integration of NEPAD into the AU structures and process was crowned by Decision (Assembly/UA/Dec.283-XIV-) taken by Heads of State during the 14th Ordinary Session of the African Union.
Today, for the very first time, NEPAD, a continental initiative, has been institutionalised with a view to becoming a development agency within the African Union family: the NEPAD Agency that is still based in South Africa, but as an International Public Institution enjoying diplomatic privileges and immunities.
The Decision lays down the mandate of the NEPAD Agency as follows:
To enhance the execution of regional and continental priority projects and programmes;
To strengthen partnerships, mobilise resources, research and knowledge management;
To spearhead the development process of the Continent;
To create an enabling environment for the participation of the private sector;
To develop institutional relationships and exploit existing technical resources in order to support the NEPAD programme.
Henceforth, its strategic direction is based on six thematic areas, namely:
Agriculture and food security;
Climate change and natural resource management;
Regional integration and Infrastructure;
Economic and corporate governance;
Cross-cutting issues such as Gender, Capacity-building, and Information and Communication Technology.
NEPAD is thus beginning a historical turning point and new opportunities are being offered to it. It is in this regard that the NEPAD Agency is bound to steer this key African Union Programme on the path of implementation, which is highly desired by all the friends of Africa and the Youth of the Continent.
The commemoration of the tenth anniversary of NEPAD will be placed under the banner of reflection, where Regional Economic Communities, the Civil Society, bilateral and multilateral development Partners, the private sector, intellectuals and citizens of the Continent, should strengthen their constructive synergies in order to flesh out once and for all the NEPAD vision as defined by its founding fathers, and collectively place Africa on the path of sustainable development.
To this end, different activities have been planned in the course of the year. They will be made public at the appropriate moment.
It is worth recalling here that the Chairperson of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC) is in charge of NEPAD's strategic orientation; the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr Jean Ping exercises a supervisory authority over the Agency, while Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki is its Executive Secretary.//Nepad Impact Newsletter