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NEPAD PRAISES AFRICA LEADERS

By Sello Tang
BuaNews - 23 January 2006

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African leaders praised for work done

Khartoum, Sudan – African leaders have been praised for their “relentless work” in curbing internal conflicts on the continent.

“Your continued efforts in peace building and conflict resolution have contributed to creating the necessary condition for Africa’s development,” said Professor Firmino Gabriel Mucavele, Nepad’s new chief executive.

“We have witnessed the successful resolution of conflict in Cote d’Ivoire, on-going efforts in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the successful elections in Tanzania, Liberia and Burundi.”

Mr Mucavele has succeeded Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu of South African who stepped down in August last year after heading the programme since its inception in 2001.

Presenting his progress report to the Nepad steering committee at the 14th summit of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC), Mr Mucavele said that progress had been made in moving the continental programme from just “ a concept” towards the implementation of some projects in various countries across Africa.

Among these projects is the US$ 205 million Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy) programme to join Mtunzini in South Africa to Sudan’s Port Sudan.

There is also the NEPAD e-school initiative that has already been launched in Uganda, Lesotho and South Africa; as well as the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) project which has by now offered Ghana US $1.8 million for the implementation of the national fortification of wheat, flour and oil. Others include, US $60 million fisheries seed grant from the World Bank which will be used to help formalise and foster sustainable management of large marine ecosystems in selected countries and the Africa’s Agri-business and market development enhancing programme that is estimated to cost US$ 1000 million over a period of five-years.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (Japan-JICA) in collaboration with the African Development Bank, has also invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the development of much-needed infrastructure on the continent.

More than 38 projects in various countries have already been commissioned, including a US $40 million project in Angola for the rehabilitation of the Mocamedes railway.

The African Development Bank has also committed about half-a-billion dollars (US$522.7 million) for an infrastructure development project to kick-start from the first quarter of 2006.

Mr Mucavele explained that Nepad had also made giant strides in strengthening its relationship with the international world, especially the G8 countries.

Through its draft Africa Action Plan, the steering committee and Nepad management programme had managed to successfully engage the G8 to deliver on their promises and to pledge extra support on Africa’s developmental initiatives, he said.

The Africa Action Plan was born out of a consultative process involving African Ministers of Finance, African Union and Nepad management, the Regional Economic Communities, experts, partner institutions and the G8 partners.

It is a framework for Nepad’s implementation and engagement plan with the developed countries.

“It includes commitments already made by African leaders towards achieving their development objectives, as well as pledges of the international community, including the G8,” explained Mr Mucavele.

He added that the plan would need about US$ 110 billions annually for the next ten years if its objectives were to be achieved, including the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.

“African countries are already committing about US$37 billion per year and the private sector and the African non-profit government organisations are committing US$30 billion per year,” he said.

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