By Brenda Zulu*
Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, 28 March 2012- The key development challenges facing Africa are the issues of project financing and the sustainability of such financing.
Speaking at the Colloquium on 10 Years of NEPAD, Erastus Mwencha Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) said this in the context of crisis that these issues affect all development institutions.
“Indeed we have a sound vision and strategy as well as a set of viable programmes and projects, such as CAADP, PIDA, and CARMMA, whose implementation would radically transform Africa. Regrettably their implementation is contingent upon goodwill outside our continent. This is no longer sustainable in the light of global developments,” said Mwencha.
He however noted that the colloquium on Accelerating NEPAD Implementation through Domestic Financing was of particular importance.
“Indeed, the involvement of local partners in the funding of our projects should help to strengthen project ownership by Africans themselves, promote a culture of transparency and good governance, reduce the degree of risk of dependence on non-regional donor agendas; and encourage the search for innovative financing,” explained Mwencha.
He observed that NEPAD had matured as an integral programme of the African Union following its design in 2001, and adoption in July 2001 by the 37th Summit of the Organisation of African Union (OAU), as a response to the problems of poverty, underdevelopment and marginalization of Africa in a global context,.
NEPAD secretariat was transformed into the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency and integrated into the structures and processes of the African Union.
“Today, the process of transforming and integrating the NEPAD Agency is almost complete. The Agency has a legal status that endows it with some autonomy. It applies AU rules, regulations and operating procedures in the areas of human resources, administration and finance,” he said.
Mwecha observed that all decisions regarding the implementation of NEPAD programmes and projects follow the rules and procedures of AU policy organs.
“The AU Commission and its NEPAD Agency are working closely to implement continental programmes, particularly in the areas of infrastructure, energy, rural economy and agriculture. A Coordination Unit has been established within the Commission to strengthen synergy of action between departments of the African Union Commission and the NEPAD Agency,” he explained.
He explained that the African Union plays a key role in efforts to mobilize local resources for the development of the continent.
“Based on the political will demonstrated by African leaders, the AU and its partners will support efforts made jointly with governments, Regional Economic Communities and leading private and public sector institutions to stimulate innovative actions in funding policy for NEPAD implementation,” said Mwecha.
The author, Brenda Zulu is a Blogger and freelance journalist based in Zambia