By Ibrahim Mayaki
As this year marks the centenary of Nelson Mandela, I wish to share with you the ways in which his legacy has influenced our team at NEPAD and the projects that we are conducting.
Nelson Mandela is remembered as an advocate for peace, equality, and freedom. As an individual, he never failed to prove his selflessness and as a leader, he demonstrated his determination to bring change. Very few people have had as much of an impact on history as he did. Most importantly, he has inspired many leaders and institutions. NEPAD is no exception.
The NEPAD Agency was established in 2010, as the technical body of the African Union. We focus on the strategic development and implementation of the continent’s priority programmes and projects in areas such as education, health, development, and inclusiveness in order to reach Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As Nelson Mandela once said Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. At NEPAD, we firmly believe in this affirmation. Encouraging education is a way of providing the African youth with opportunities to live a healthy life but also to participate in the achievement of a prosperous continent.
In this regard, we have launched a number of initiatives aiming to have an impact your training. Through our Skills Initiative for Africa program, for instance, we are working towards the improvement of education quality, close cooperation with the private sector and the use of innovation six African countries.
With such initiatives, we hope to be getting closer to Mandela’s dream of “a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities”.
The legacy of Mandela is also characterized by a strong will to constitute a better and stronger Africa. It was undoubtedly passed down to NEPAD and manifests into our dedication to making breakthroughs in the frontier of development.
Against the backdrop of a changing world and globalization, we have set up programmes that aim at fostering better living conditions – through education or employability – but also free trade, freedom of movement, and infrastructure building. The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) is a clear example of our will to promote regional economic integration and tackle low levels of intra-regional economic exchange and participation in the global trade.
I am convinced that through our work we are working together towards the transformation of Africa. We will realize our dream of an African continent whose countries are open both to each other and to the world.