The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency, has emphasised the important role women play in various national and regional sectors. Chief Executive Officer of the Agency Dr Ibrahim Mayaki addressing a Press Conference in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea ahead of the African Union Summit which opens this week said one of NEPAD key priorities was rural development and the empowerment of women and youth.
Responding to media on NEPAD’s relationships with the Pan African Parliament and its support for African women to access credit, Dr Mayaki highlighted the strong area of cooperation between the PAP and NEPAD in the area of medicines regulation harmonisation as well as the NEPAD Gender Programme which supports women empowerment through a special Fund provided by the Spanish Government.
Dr Mayaki briefed the media on the successful outcome of the Dakar Financing Summit for Africa’s Infrastructure (DFS), recently held in Dakar, Senegal. The Summit galvanised the private and public sector as well as infrastructure experts and development partners like the World Bank and Africa Development Bank.
They discussed ways to finance sixteen priority regional infrastructure projects. Dr Mayaki said important lessons learned at the Summit included the acknowledgement that there is money to finance infrastructure; and that there ought to be emphasis on the well-designed bankable projects for them to attract investment. The Summit outcome was the Dakar Agenda for Action (DAA), a road map which will determine how the sixteen projects will be financed and implemented.
The NEPAD CEO said that a lot still had to be done in harnessing Private Public Partnerships (PPPs) although there were some good examples of what has worked in Africa.
“Two years ago NEPAD created a network of PPPs throughout the continent. We are now looking at how to bring about best practices that can be shared between African countries and Regional Economic Communities” he said.
On Agriculture, Dr Mayaki said that the fact that the Africa Union declared 2014 the Year shows the impact that agriculture has in triggering development.
“Africa will industrialise once it develops its agriculture. Our industrialisation will be agriculture led industrialisation” said Mayaki.
He made reference to NEPAD’s Rural Futures Programme which addresses the issues related to human capital development as the majority of the population lives in rural areas. The Programme focuses on the transformation of rural areas in wealth producing territories.
In response to media question on the importance of NEPAD in realising the 2063 Agenda, Dr Mayaki said that Agenda 2063 is not a plan, but a vision! He broke down the 50 year vision into the first 10 years which would look at constructing and implementing mechanism through working on national and regional levels. The Agenda is designed as the African Unions long-term development strategy for the next 50 years. It is a global strategy to optimise the use of Africa’s resources for the benefit of the continent’s people
The CEO is leading a team of NEPAD Agency delegation to the 25th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.