The African Union Commission (AUC), NEPAD Agency, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and African Development Bank (AfDB) gathered on November 12 at a high-level meeting in Johannesburg, to make the vision of Agenda 2063 a reality. The main objective was to get input from RECs into Africa’s strategic development framework over the next 50 years.
AUC Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma highlighted the critical role that all Africans should play in realising Agenda 2063. “We hope that all sectors of society in Africa will be influenced by this Agenda – Intellectuals, business people, workers, youth and women. We acknowledge that besides it being a framework, it will also be a galvanising and mobilising strategy for all people of Africa. We need to get every African to understand Agenda 2063. We must keep pushing it at all levels of society,” she said. Dr Dlamini-Zuma emphasised that''Agenda 2063 requires for all efforts to be well coordinated and complemented. There can be no competition among us, but complementarity.”
AUC Chair Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (centre) during her speech
NEPAD Agency CEO Dr Ibrahim Mayaki spoke on NEPAD’s role in strengthening the capacity of RECs to enable them to deliver on their regional integration mandates and consequently support the implementation of Agenda 2063 and supporting frameworks. “The RECs 2015-2025 Capacity Development Implementation Plan is aligned with the planned first phase of Agenda 2063, Post-2015 Agenda, as well as, ongoing efforts within the framework of the Decade of NEPAD and RECs Medium Term Strategic Plans.” Dr Mayaki also spoke on the need to address leadership challenges in order to realise the vision of Agenda 2063.“For Infrastructure issues to be addressed in Africa, we need committed leadership,” he said.
Mr Charles Njoroge, Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC) gave a detailed update on the efforts made by RECs in eradicating Ebola. He noted that although African countries were taken by surprise by the disease, they still managed to mobilise support from member states and international organisations through the AU emergency fund system and support from the private sector.
UNECA Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary, Mr Carlos Lopes, reminded all that the action plan for Agenda 2063 needs to be concrete, credible and technically sound in order to be implementable at all levels. He also focused on the Post 2015 Agenda and Africa’s strong position in steering the vision. “Africa has an edge in terms of influencing the overall effort of the post 2015 Agenda. We need to define what Africans want out of these discussions in terms of financing for development.”
Vice President of the AfDB, Mr Solomon Asamoh, emphasised on the need for continued collaboration in order to tackle the challenges facing the continent but to also leverage on the progress made. Mr Asamoh said: “Collaboration between the AU, World Bank, ECA and RECs is historical but it is even more important in view of not only the urgencies (Ebola and Youth unemployment) but also the opportunities that we need to exploit together for better results. Indeed the opportunities available to Africa are far greater than the challenges and surely if we work together, we will achieve more.”