The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency on Thursday launched two new publications, The Africa Decade of Change and the NEPAD 2011 Annual Report, highlighting significant achievements in the last decade.
“The Africa Decade of Change” is a 48-page publication that highlights the Agency’s record, key outcomes and reflections of the 10th anniversary of NEPAD, as the flagship development programme of the Africa Union.
The book is a collaborative effort involving the Office of the UN Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and NEPAD.
On the other hand, the Annual Report captures the programmes the Agency undertook and the results achieved.
It also reviews some of the challenges and opportunities faced by the Agency and projections for the future.
“The two publications that have just been launched…touch on one common theme – Africa’s Development,” the new Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said at the launch in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
She said the continent’s overarching priorities are still poverty eradication and wealth creation, provision of socio-economic infrastructure and services, food security, good governance and effective institutions.
”There is compelling evidence of sustained progress in the pursuit of economic growth, good governance and the emergence of strong, functional and effective institutions in Africa. These are vital for development,” the AU Commission Chairperson said.
She also hinged the development of the continent on a number of factors, including improved financial and technical resources based on domestic sources, improved quality of partnerships and shared responsibilities among Africa’s development stakeholders, human and institutional capacity development with emphasis on innovations, enhanced leadership, strong political commitment, accountability and effective governance.
The Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD, Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, said the Agency’s operations in 2011 were significantly successful, recording more than 75 per cent execution and disbursement/budgetary performance rates for planned programmes and projects as well as programme support activities.
Some of these projects include the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), Partnership for African Fisheries (PAF), Sustainable Land and Water Management (TerrAfrica/SLWM) as well as Development of the African Fertilizer and Agric Business Partnership.
Others are Regional Integration and Infrastructure Development, including the Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative, and the South Sudan Development Initiative (SSDI).
Dr. Mayaki identified some of the challenges and constraints impeding the progress of the Agency as inadequate financial resources, Euro-Zone financial crisis and lack of a formal organizational structure.
“The challenges and constraints notwithstanding, the year brought along considerable opportunities for the operations of the Agency. These were reflected in the robust growth that the African continent continued to experience, the modest but encouraging financial support by the AU member states to the Agency and efforts by most of Africa’s development partners to honour pledged resources in spite of the challenges facing the industrialized economies,” Dr. Mayaki added.
AU’s Director of Information and Communication Habiba Mejri-Cheick said the two publications were key tools in showcasing the impact of the NEPAD programme.
She hailed the “excellent synergy and collaboration” between the Agency’s Communications Unit and the AU’s Directorate of Communication and Advocacy