Building the Africa we want: NEPAD Turns 20

Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa President. Image|Cou

As the new partnership for African development (NEPAD) celebrates its 20 years of existence, it has been hailed for its tireless efforts in accomplishing and strengthening its relationship with other respectable organization throughout the world.

For over 20 years it has been operational, the organization impressive achievement has been creating collaborations with the G20,G8,OECD,FOCAC,TICAD and the UN system on possible ways of working together and achieving a common goal for Africa.

During the recent NEPAD symposium held in Johannesburg South Africa recently, President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledged the efforts the body has put in place in promoting agriculture, health, education and training, the environment, information and communication technology and infrastructure development.

Ramaphosa who also doubles as the chairperson of the African Union stated this during the official virtual at the event, organized by the African union development agency (AUDA-NEPAD) on 28th January, to mark 20 years of NEPAD’s journey as a leading pan-African development actor.

During the event his Rwanda counterpart Paul Kagame, who is also the chairperson of the NEPAD heads of state and government orientation committee lauded NEPAD by observing what modalities it had put in place to ensure that the continent was moving in the right direction.

“NEPAD has remained true to its vision and therefore, it is no accident that it became the African union development agency (AUDA) in 2018.”

Kagame praised the organization’s track record as it makes it the ideal institution to help in fronting the implementation of Agenda 2063 on behalf of the African Union.

 “I’m grateful to the partners who have stood together with NEPAD over the past two decades, both in Africa and beyond,” Kagame said.

While acknowledging the steady and transparent leadership of the chief executive officer (C.E.O) of AUDA-NEPAD, Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki,

Kagame confirmed that Dr. Mayaki has led NEPAD with integrity and commitment for more than a decade.

At the same time, the chairperson of the African union commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat reiterated in his

speech that they were indeed celebrating NEPAD an instrument that has allowed them to face their challenges through Agenda 2063 in regional and continental development projects.

Adding that its transformation into AUDA-NEPAD is a reflection of its maturity, in responding to development needs on the continent.

“The NEPAD journey so far has been memorable with institutional strides and programmatic

landmarks reflecting the transformational history and performance of the NEPAD entity.

 The shared commitment and political will of the entire African Union membership for the

realization of the “Africa We Want” in Agenda 2063 as the development vision and long-term plan, validate the birth and rebirth of the NEPAD entity as an agent of renewal and transformation.

On his part while expounding on the birth of NEPAD, former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo, said it was important to hail the persistent efforts the body has put in place in propelling the African agenda.

 “Any river that forgets its source won’t triumph; let’s not forget the history of NEPAD as we head towards the Africa we want.

He reminded the meeting on how by the year 2001, they had a programme they could put forward and later launched it.

Obasanjo further revealed how the body then engaged the G6 in 2002, after which for the first time, Africa had its political, social and economic programme that was acceptable across the board and unanimously accepted before it gave birth to the idea of the African peer review mechanism (APRM).

 The (AUDA-NEPAD) chief executive officer Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki pointed out that it also provided an opportunity to examine the relevance and future of the first continental development agency and the capacities it needs to fast track development across Africa.

“NEPAD and APRM are now the key drivers of Agenda 2063.” Two decades since the birth of NEPAD, the symposium was a good platform to reflect on the successes, achievements and challenges in its implementation.”

He added that the political capital and uniqueness evident in the NEPAD heads of state and government orientation committee is the greatest asset of AUDA-NEPAD.

He further reflected on the challenges bedeviling organization singling out resource mobilization as a key one.

“Our resource mobilization strategy will count strongly on our African partners. We also need to extend our capacity in terms of human resources at the agency. The third challenge is increasing interaction with the regional economic communities that we need to keep together”.

Among the eminent attendees at the symposium were: Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, former President of the republic of Liberia; Prof. Eddy Maloka, CEO, APRM; Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank; Mrs. Cristina Duarte, United Nations special adviser on Africa and under-secretary-general of OSAA; Dr. Vera Songwe, under-secretary general of the United Nations and executive secretary of ECA; Albert Muchanga, Commissioner for trade and industry, African union commission; Victor Harrison, African union commissioner for economic affairs; Dr. John Nkengasong, director, Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention; Dr KY. Amoako, founder and President of the African Center for economic transformation; Prof. Wim de Villiers, vice-chancellor and Rector, Stellenbosch University; Gnounka Diouf, Minister in charge of economic affairs, Office of Macky Sall, President of Senegal; Prof. Thuli Madonsela, Law Trust Chair in Social Justice and Law Professor, Stellenbosch University.

The regional economic communities were represented by Ambassador. Mohamed Ali Guyo, IGAD special envoy to the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Somalia and Mr. Pathe Gueye, ECOWAS commissioner for infrastructure.

Also present were the National coordinator/CEO of NEPAD Nigeria Princess Gloria Akobundu and Dr. Samori A. Okwiya, CEO, NEPAD Kenya.

Upon the closure of the event the AUDA-NEPAD goodwill ambassador for TB & Nutrition Yvonne Chaka Chaka treated the guests with a musical performance after which she remarked that “One of the greatest achievements of NEPAD is that it has put Africa on the global agenda and also galvanized international support for the region, towards building the Africa We Want.”
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