The New Partnership for Africa’s Development should be seen as a home – grown African initiative to overcome the age-long obstacles to African development.
This body is assumed to be in partnership with the international community, the Group of 8 industrialised countries:
- The Russian federation.
- United kingdom.
- Northern Ireland.
- United States of America.
Note: What is now popularly known by the acronym NEPAD came into being upon the joining together of the millennium partnership for the African Recovery Programme (MAP) and the OMEGA plan, at the request of the organisation of African Unity (OAU) now the African Union (AU).
It was once known as the New African Initiative. It came into existence in October 2001 out of the several plans and discussions which lasted some years between South Africa’s President, Thabo Mbeki, Nigeria’s President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
At this level of meetings and discussions of these presidents, one could deduce that they were committed towards evolving a new pattern of development and partnership for Africa and this is where the concept of NEPAD was actualized.
The actualization of the objectives of this concept (NEPAD) rests squarely with Africans, even though NEPAD is in partnership with the G8.
The following line of actions were initiated by African leaders before the formation of NEPAD:
- The Final Act of Lagos 1980.
- The Lagos Plan of Action for the Economic Development of Africa (1980-2000).
- The Africa’s Priority Programme for Economic Recovery (APPER) (1986-1990).
- The African Alternative Framework to Structural Adjustment Programme for Socio – Economic Recovery and Transformation, AAF- SAP (1989).
- The African Charter for Popular Participation for Development (1990).
- The Compact Programme for African Recovery (2000).
- NEPAD is committed to peace, security and good governance.
- To uphold democracy and human rights.
- Committed to the actualization of prudent economic management and sustainable development.
- Reduce conflicts and have greater access to world markets.
- Fight, in its entirety, corruption, which had taken the centre-stage of the continent’s political soul, impacting negatively on developmental efforts.
These commitments are in return for the G.8’s increased aid, investment, debt relief and access to trade opportunities.
Arguments against NEPAD
- Some political analysts have seen the creation of NEPAD as another neo-colonial tendency of the West to exploit Africa.
- Poor leadership and high rate of corruption facing the continent are negative pointers capable of endangering the set goals and objectives of NEPAD.
- The un-ending conflict situations in Africa, as a result of East and West ideological differences, race, religion, etc, can stall every efforts at realizing the goals of this new body.
- Efforts at realizing the committed goals of NEPAD may be jeopardized as a result of some domestic problems of member states.
United States of America’s Commitment To NEPAD
The United states has in recent times made itself committed to the development of African countries through the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
Tabling this before the United Nations Council,United States permanent representative to the United Nations Ambassador John D. Negroponte stated that NEPAD goals include the following:
- Recognition of African leaders initiative to end conflict rocking the continent.
- An antidote necessary to hasten progress by taking concrete actions to promote peace and stability.
- Consolidating democracy and providing sound economic management and people centered development.
- NEPAD is Africa’s future mapped out by Africans on behalf of Africans.
Negroponte commended the pivotal roles presidents Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Abdulallahi Wade of Senegal have been playing in developing and guiding the implementation of NEPAD.
While presenting U.S. efforts at helping the success of the programme, he said, “The millennium challenge account by U.S. draws on one of the essential lessons of development: countries prosper when their governments function justly, effectively and transparently. This requires the rule of law. independent judiciary and respect for the rights of citizens, including the right to choose their own representatives”.