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African leaders were right in establishing NEPAD, says Janneh

New York, 10 October (ECA)

A review of the last 10 years and the concrete achievements made shows that African leaders were right in establishing NEPAD as a development framework for Africa, UN Under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, told the African Group of Ambassadors in New York on Friday.

“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 said during a briefing by officials including the CEO of NEPAD Agency, Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, Mr. Cheick Diarra, Head of the Office of Special Adviser on Africa, and Mr. Assefa Shifa, the CEO of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

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, said Janneh.

NEPAD has greatly improved good governance and accountability across Africa, he said, adding that 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.

Mr. Janneh also recalled 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.

In terms of concrete NEPAD projects, Janneh cited TerrAfrica Programme, under which $30 million was leveraged for sustainable land management in Ethiopia, while 23,700 households in Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe received improved seed varieties and training in appropriate farming techniques.

He also cited terrestrial networks which link each African country with its neighbour and the NEPAD’s African Bioscience Initiative, through which research into herbal remedies to treat HIV/AIDS are carried on.

“Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda which are members of the East African Community have also completed road network facilitated in the framework of NEPAD, thereby improving trade and transport,” Janneh said..

As the UN regional arm charged with the socio-economic development of African countries, Janneh said ECA would continue to support the African Union and its NEPAD Programme in the firm belief in the imperative of the NEPAD programme as a tool for African regional integration and development.

Now that the structural and institutional challenges have been resolved, he said, ECA would now assist NEPAD Agency to build stronger partnerships, especially within Africa ; enhance private sector participation in the implementation of NEPAD ; and enhance awareness and stakeholder buy-in of NEPAD

Issued by : ECA Information and Communication Service

Publié le 10 octobre 2011