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Nepad Fails to Meet Target

Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra)
05 October 2004
George Kyei Frimpong

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Hopes of the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), of generating the targeted US$64 billion in investment on the continent has not come to fruition because of various factors at play.

The donors, who are expected to contribute more than half of the funds have folded their arms and left it to the member states to generate its own resources for the growth of the continent as well as resolving the increasing poverty levels among its people.

According to Chief Economist at the NEPAD Secretariat in Midrand, Dr. Mohammed Jahed, Africa, Dr. Jahed told journalists who toured the Secretariat, that funds from the donors have not been forthcoming.

He said in view of the shortcoming, it was time Africa generated its own funds by opening of European markets for export of its goods.

Other avenues he said Africa need to fight for debt cancellation under the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) scheme and create joint economic partnership agreements to lobby for fair and increased trade with developed countries under the World Trade Organization.

The Head of NEPAD and Governance Project at the Secretariat, Mr Ross Herbert has observed that Africa has recorded negligible investment and aid since its formation three years ago.

He said Africa has recorded a paltry US$16 billion in aid and US$1 billion in foreign direct investment outside the oil, gas and mining sectors.

Herbert noted that to get African economies growing fast enough to reduce poverty, the continent requires some US$64 billion a year in investment.

He said in recent years, Sub Saharan Africa excluding South Africa has annually received less than US$1 billion in FDI. Aid according to Herbert, is now around US$16 billion.

He said indeed funding is a central problem that NEPAD has not dealt with candidly even though its text contains dozens of demands for outside funding and assistance to solve specific sectoral problems.

He lamented the failure by the donor community to open up and release the resources that Africa envisages to use to develop its economies.

According to experts, the refusal of donors to open the money taps have not diminished Africa's need for resources as a result, NEPAD has faced a constant temptation to pretend to be accomplishing more than it is.

The experts stated, "the NEPAD initiative needs to be salvaged, financially if it is to achieve its obligation so long as the leadership is willing to build consensus over such issues that relate to good governance."

They said that unless the leaders of Africa were willing to listen to the people they govern and be innovative in raising funds for their own cause NEPAD remained a pipedream.

The question most economic commentators are asking today is: "Can the talking in NEPAD make Cents"?



COMMENTS

06 October 2004
For as long as Africa and more so NEPAD continues to promote the "alleviation of poverty" investors will refrain from investing into Africa!
International investors would like to "back a winner" lets "create wealth for our people" - this mind-set will attract investors!
Peter Metcalfe

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