The Senegalese president, Macky Sall, on Sunday in Dakar praised the progress made in Africa since the launch of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), paying tribute to those who conceived the continental development plan.
“Africa has over the past few years recorded significant progress through accelerated growth in a difficult international context. Africa’s governance has improved, thanks to strong institutions and the advent of leadership more and more guided by the obligation of results,” he said.
Speaking at the opening of the summit of Heads of State on infrastructure financing, he said that Africa had gone a long way since the launch in July 2001of NEPAD.
President Sall, however, recognized that the continent was still facing huge challenges, particularly in the social domain, stressing the need to take up again those challenges as soon as possible.
“We must again combat social inequalities, promote employment, improve the quality of governance and accelerate integration through economy and interconnected infrastructure. This is the final objective for NEPAD”, he added.
He said that the achievement of 51 priority projects outlined by the Programme for Africa’s Infrastructure Development (PIDA) needed financing of US$68 billion over 2012-2020.
He said that the 16 projects which were on infrastructure were the carefully selected and coordinated by the NEPAD agency with the collaboration of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
President Sall suggested that the feasibility studies and implementation management be entrusted to AfDB or through its system “Africa Fifty” under the supervision of the NEPAD agency.
“This will enable us to gain time and move forward at our rhythm. AfDB has the means and the human resources. Africa must act rapidly and speed up its advancement rhythm,” he said.
The summit is convened by president Sall, who chairs the orientation committee of NEPAD heads of State and government (HSGOC).
Three presidents attended the Dakar summit – president Boni Yayi of Benin, president Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and president Ibrahima Boubacar Keita of Mali whose countries are members of the orientation committee of NEPAD heads of State.
The meeting was attended by the African Union Commission chairperson, Mrs Nkossozana Dlamini Zuma; the NEPAD secretary executive, Ibrahim Assane Mayaki; the executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Carlos Lopez; the African Union Commissioner for infrastructure and energy, Mrs Elham Ibrahim; the governor of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Donald Kaberuka, as well as several international financial institutions.
“The message we would like to send here is clear. Africa does have huge and emergency needs, but through its resources and potential, it will not continue benefiting from aid but will be an opportunity pole for investment and partnership,” president Sall said.