NEPAD’s Achievements Five Years after Its Inception

0
11

By Wezi Tjaronda WINDHOEK An assessment of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development says that NEPAD has achieved a lot since it was formed five years ago. Among its achievements, that are cited in the NEPAD Briefing 15, are gaining international recognition, getting African civil society on board, promoting good governance through peer reviews, developing regional infrastructure and also promoting agricultural activities. The briefing gives a summarized assessment of the achievements of NEPAD, five years after its inception in 2001. The brief, prepared by NEPRU and funded by the Hans Seidel Foundation, says NEPAD made its mark on the international scene at the G8 summit in Canada in June 2002 when its promoters and the UN Secretary-General discussed the challenges facing Africa, which resulted in the adoption of the G8 African Action Plan as a framework to support African countries. Under the plan, the G8 indicated its commitment to support Africa under various initiatives including Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), enhanced HIPC, Overseas Development Assistance, and the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB. The assessment cited the bringing together of civil society organizations which aimed at increasing awareness among its stakeholders about the plan and to urge them to implement it as another achievement. The Hans Siedel Foundation has taken the lead in organizing such workshops in Southern and Eastern Africa. So far, these workshops have been held in Kenya and South Africa. Linked to the first two achievements is the extensive coverage of NEPAD in both literature and media, in Africa and abroad from different disciplines on science, says the brief. It added that the African Peer Review Mechanism of NEPAD that works to promote democracy and good governance, has also already produced results, with two reviews from Kenya and Ghana already published. Reports from nine other countries are at an advanced stage. NEPAD has also done well in the area of regional infrastructure development since 2002, with over US$530million (approximately N$3.610 billion) already used for the development of roads, communications and energy networks. Other projects worth around US$490 million (N$3.340 billion) were under consideration during 2005. In addition to this, NEPAD has formulated an Agricultural Development Plan where member states of the African Union have committed themselves to developing pro-development policies and to allocating sufficient resources to the sector. Among the priorities of NEPAD are peace and security, democracy and political governance, economic and corporate governance, infrastructure, regional cooperation and integration, human development, agriculture and environment, market access and export diversification. These priorities are expected to lead to poverty alleviation, sustainable development and a greater role for women. The areas that have received a lot of attention, according to NEPAD Briefing 14, include regional infrastructure development, democracy and good governance and agriculture.