Current Affairs Guest Column

Viewpoint: What next for NEPAD?

Viewpoint: What next for NEPAD?
  • PublishedDecember 11, 2019

After more than 18 years, the African Union’s flagship development planning agency, NEPAD, has taken on a broader mandate, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, expounds.

NEPAD has now becomes Africa’s principal development agency, AUDA-NEPAD, but what is the significance of the change in the agency’s name and what it expects to achieve?

At the 11th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) in November 2018, it was decided that the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD) would be renamed the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD).

The AU Assembly of July 2018 approved the establishment of AUDA-NEPAD as the technical executive agency and development anchor of the continent – with its distinct legal identity and defined by its own statute – to deliver on the development priorities articulated by the AU. Its establishment is part of the overall institutional reforms of the continental organisation.

The acronym ‘NEPAD’ has been maintained in the title of the agency – AUDA-NEPAD – as an affirmation of the commitment and support by AU Member States and stakeholders for the renamed agency, with its own mandate, to build on the gains made by NEPAD.

In order to reflect on the journey that AUDA-NEPAD is embarking on, let us take a step back into the organisation’s history. In 2001, in Lusaka, NEPAD was adopted by the AU as a home-grown African initiative to address Africa’s main development challenges. It was to be the organisation’s flagship programme in this endeavour.

Since then, NEPAD, in terms of impact, had grown by leaps and bounds with a footprint in 53 of the continent’s 55 countries and in 2019, its mandate was considerably broadened by making it the continent’s principal development agency, while ensuring that it retained its original character. This move is also in line with the AU’s reforms for increased efficiency.

The vision The vision of AUDA-NEPAD, simply put, is to ‘Harness knowledge to deliver the Africa we want’. Our mission is to provide a platform for African countries to ensure the effective and integrated planning, coordination and implementation of programmes and projects aimed at achieving economic integration and development.

The AUDA-NEPAD mandate gives the organisation a wider role in providing knowledge-based advisory support to AU Member States in terms of strategic and capacity development.

In terms of implementation, the agency will work within the framework of Agenda 2063 and the broader global Sustainable Development Goals. We will focus on packaging knowledge and delivering results at country level through National Development Plans.

Our focus areas will be: Knowledge Management; Human Capital & Institutions’ Development; Technology, Innovation and Digitalisation; Industrialisation; Environmental Sustainability and Economic Integration.

The emphasis is on integrated planning that will take a multisectoral approach, working with AU Member States, Regional Economic Communities and development partners.

As an organisation, we are confident that the birth of AUDA-NEPAD, as the driver for Agenda 2063, has come at the right time. The continent needs to accelerate its growth, which can only be sustained through economic regional integration and built on an original, African owned and led pathway for ‘the Africa we want’.

As the CEO of AUDA-NEPAD, I can attest that the change from NEPAD to the African Union Development Agency will be showcased from the start in the difference we will be making through our new mandate. We embrace this transformation and I have full confidence that we are all ready for the task at hand!


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