An official of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) says the organization will soon be transformed into a strong implementation agency.
The renewed mandate follows a decision by the African Union to integrate NEPAD as a full-fledged member of the continental body’s structures.
Andrew Kanyegirire, NEPAD’s communications manager, says NEPAD’s transformation as an A.U. agency clarifies and strengthens it mission to focus more on project implementation in African countries.
“NEPAD was recognized as a program of the African Union, a program that was specifically directed to development. It was recognized that NEPAD had to become an arm (of the AU). We have taken a long time for obvious reasons, some of them to do with political considerations on the continent, and some of them just to do with the way which some of these decisions are done,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA), Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, welcomed the A.U.’s decision as a positive step, which he said is in line with the overall vision and mission of the African Union.
Mayaki said “This decision has strengthened NEPAD. We now have a clear and adequate mandate to focus more on project implementation in African countries,”
He urged the staff of the former NEPAD Secretariat to redouble their efforts to live up to the expectations of the African leaders, who approved the transformation from the Secretariat into a full-fledged implementing Agency.
According to the African Union, NEPAD came into being as a pledge by African leaders, based on a common vision and a firm and shared conviction that they have a pressing duty to eradicate poverty and to place their countries, both individually and collectively, on a path of sustainable growth and sustainable development. At the same time NEPAD members pledge to participate actively in the world economy and the body politic.
Critics say while NEPAD has gained praise from the G8 countries, the people of Africa, including trade unionists, farmers, community organizers and activists, academics, NGO and religious institution representatives, were excluded during its formation.
Analysts say NEPAD is estimated to cost $64 billion annually.
CEO Mayaki has often stated that NEPAD must demonstrate to African Union member states that it has the capacity to help their economies grow if the vision for Africa’ s renewal is to succeed.
He also says many countries understand the main objectives of NEPAD, but want to see the secretariat “demonstrating its efficiency through the successful delivery of key regional infrastructure development projects on the ground” that will translate into the effective integration of the continent’s five regional economic communities.