African leaders were right in establishing NEPAD – UN official

Mr Abdoulie Janneh - Executive Secretary of ECA

African leaders were right in establishing the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) as a development framework for the continent, says UN under Secretary-General Mr. Abdoulie Janneh.

Mr Janneh, who is also the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in a statement said a review of NEPAD’s ten years has shown concrete achievements in Africa.

NEPAD is an economic development programme of the African Union (AU). It was adopted at the 37th session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in July 2001 in Lusaka, Zambia.

“Many initial challenges and constraints have been surmounted and the NEPAD ship is now sailing smoothly powered by the transition of the NEPAD Secretariat into a Planning and Coordinating Agency that has been fully integrated into the structures and processes of the African Union,” Janneh told the African Group of Ambassadors during a briefing by NEPAD officials in New York last week.

According to him, using partnership as its primary strategy, NEPAD effectively made progress with the issues of peace and security in Africa, effectively linking economic development and growth with peace and security on the continent.

Mr Janneh indicated that NEPAD has greatly improved good governance and accountability across Africa adding that the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) has no equivalence anywhere in the world.

“Of the 30 countries which acceded to the APRM since 2003, 14 have reviewed their policies and practices on democracy, political and economic governance,” said Janneh.

He said NEPAD had also mobilized international support and resources for Africa’s development, raising millions of dollars through creative partnerships and cited NEPAD’s push for African countries to dedicate 10 percent of their national budgets to agriculture; its promotion of African ownership and increased role of the private sector in the implementation of NEPAD, as evidence of progress over the last 10 years.

“The cancellation of debts of African countries was within the framework of NEPAD’s engagement with the G8 while the Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative (PICI) chaired by President Zuma through which projects are identified for fast track action, are also within the framework of NEPAD,” he said.

NEPAD’s various flagship programmes and frameworks which have facilitated progress in key sectors: Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP); Capacity Development Strategic Framework (CDSF); the E-Africa Programme through which over 600,000 schools in 27 African countries now have access to ICT and the African Platform for Development Effectiveness (APDev) which connects aid effectiveness and south-south cooperation with capacity development in Africa, Mr. Janneh said.

By Ekow Quandzie

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