Sources of information on New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD).

Author:Unagha, Amanze O.


The African continent has been facing an uphill task in terms of its development. It cannot favorably compete with other industrialized nations of the world. It is one of the cardinal reasons why the New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) was formed, to tackle the problems of development. Although Africa is rich in natural resources, it remains today the poorest continent, with not less than half of its people living below the poverty line on less than $1 per day. Africa is also the most aid-dependent, the most indebted, as well the most marginalized region. African leaders have launched the NEPAD initiative in order to recapture the glory of the past, regain the identity and self-confidence of its people, and put the continent back on the path of political and sustainable development (Ogola 2002).

Before NEPAD, Africans tried many panaceas to develop the continent, but unlike America and Europe in an earlier time, they do not have the luxury of independence, which is central to self-regeneration. Among the well known initiatives are (Aluko, 2002):

* The Priority Programme of Economic Redressing of Africa (PPERA), adopted by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1985 and Complementary United Nations Programme for the Economic Redressing and Development of Africa (PANUREDA).

* The 1991 Treaty establishing the Africa Economic Community (AEC).

* The New International Economic Order (NIEO), which implies a call for the restructuring of the present world economic system with a view to eliminating its debilitating tenets that are inimical to the economic interest of the World Countries (and Africa in particular).

African leaders, while adopting the New African Initiative (NAI) in Lasaka, Zambia, in July 2001, advertised it as a concerted approach to actualize the African Union. The NAI was later renamed New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) on October 23, 2001, in Abuja at the meeting of Heads of State Implementation committee. NEPAD is "premised on the determination of Africans to extricate themselves and the continent from the malaise of underdevelopment and exclusion in a globalizing world" (Onyekpere 2002). Through NEPAD, a new debate is emerging, moving away from blaming all the problems the continent is facing on colonialism, to realize our collective responsibility in rebuilding the Continent and its people. Therefore, NEPAD is seen as a wake-up call to men and women to develop themselves as well as the continent.

One of the criticisms of NEPAD has been that the general African populace does not know about it (Nwankwo, 2003). Emad (2002) states that, "NEPAD as a...

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