NEPAD’s impact and progress came under the spotlight on Sunday at the NEPAD Steering Committee meeting in Addis Ababa, ahead of the 24th African Union Assembly.
The Committee, comprised of representatives of 20 African Heads of States, Regional Economic Communities (REC’s) and development partners met to assess progress made in various NEPAD programmes and activities.
Reporting back on 2014 activities, NEPAD Agency CEO Dr Ibrahim Mayaki emphasised that the Agency’s interventions are oriented towards transformative impact and changing the living conditions of African people.
“The NEPAD Agency collective presence is continental, with development interventions leveraging impacts in 50 countries. The Agency has achieved significant transformative development results in its major thematic areas of priorities,” Dr Mayaki said.
On regional integration, Dr Mayaki referred to the Dakar Financing Summit (DFS) as a milestone in identifying 16 bankable infrastructure projects that will address Africa’s infrastructure deficit. The NEPAD Agency has established a Service Delivery Mechanism, as part of the Dakar Agenda for Action, to support early-stage project preparation and development.
Dr Mayaki also highlighted activities underway under the partnership with USAID to implement the Power Africa initiative, which aims to add 30,000 MW of additional capacity and providing 60 million household and businesses with energy connections.
The Steering Committee members were briefed on progress made in the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), in which 50 out of 54 member states are currently engaged. 40 countries have signed up to the CAADP Compact, to allocate 10 per cent of national budgets to agriculture and 25 countries have adopted Agriculture and Food Security Investment Plans. A CAADP Results Framework has been developed to better track, assess and monitor progress made towards the Malabo Decision to accelerate agricultural growth and transformation.
Mrs Estherine Fotabong (above), Director of Programme Implementation and Coordination highlighted the Gender, Climate Change and Agriculture Support Programme which aims to equip women and other vulnerable farming groups with the knowledge, tools and skills needed to better adapt to the effects of climate change in agriculture. A total number of 25 million farmers will have reached climate smart technologies by 2025, Mrs Fotabong said.
She also cautioned that the NEPAD Agency is the first organisation in Africa to have established a Climate Change Fund, to make available to countries and RECs technical assistance, capacity building, knowledge management and policy development on climate change issues.
Mrs Gnounka Diouf, Chairperson of the NEPAD Steering Committee, commended progress made by the NEPAD Agency in 2014 and urged that 2015 will be an even more important year to accelerate NEPAD programme implementation, as it marks the deadline of the Millennium Development Goals and the development of Agenda 2063.
Mrs Diouf (above) is the personal representative to the Committee, of Senegalese President Macky Sall, who is also the Chairperson of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee
AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Dr Anthony Mothae Maruping said: “We need to take Agenda 2063 very seriously and turn our strategies into concrete implementable initiatives and carry them out.” Dr Maruping emphasised that the AUC will work closely with the NEPAD Agency on a ten year implementation plan, as NEPAD remains relevant at national, regional and continental level.
One of the key highlights was the presentation of a prototype version of the NEPAD Agency Business Intelligence Dashboard. The Dashboard is a software to monitor performance of NEPAD programmes/ projects and visualises NEPAD progress at country level. Mrs Diof commended the dashboard as an important instrument to accelerate programme implementation and urged all member countries to take ownership of this tool and feed the platform with country data.
The Steering Committee reviewed the Agenda for the 32nd NEPAD Heads of State Government and Orientation Committee Summit to be held on January 29.