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PRIVATE SECTOR PIVOTAL TO NEPAD

COURTESY:
Donwald PRESSLY
I-Net Bridge
October 2004

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Private sector pivotal to Nepad

The private sector had a key role to play in the future development of the African continent and public-private partnerships were essential if the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) was to succeed, says President Thabo Mbeki.

"I am confident that by systematically working together government, business, civil society we can, as Africans, begin to realise the goals of Nepad. Further we need to strengthen South-South partnerships," he said on Friday.

"Clearly, the private sector has a key role to play in the future development of the continent. We need increased participation by the private sector in the Nepad programmes such as infrastructure development, the diversification of production and in the drive to add value to products."

Stressing the importance of African involvement in the continent's development, Mbeki said the African Union had adopted Nepad with an expressed understanding that "this is a new partnership which is owned, managed and driven by Africans".

Speaking at the opening of the Nepad stakeholders dialogue at the Sandton Convention Centre on Friday which is being attended by the Nigerian and Senegalese presidents he said Nepad also had "a huge responsibility to end the centuries of poverty and underdevelopment brought about by the brutal system of slavery, colonial conquest of Africans and their lands, exploitation of African resources and marginalisation of African people".

It was important that the level of participation by Africans in the programmes of Nepad be assessed, he said, "particularly the involvement of women, youth, businesspeople, workers, intelligentsia as well as the many Africans that are now in the diaspora."

Regional integration was very important because "as we all know, African economies are generally small, weak and fragmented and the majority of countries have relatively small populations. While there has been some progress made in achieving regional integration in Africa, there are still challenges that remain and they need to be addressed urgently."

"We need to Strengthen Regional Economic Communities (RECs) including the rationalisation of RECs and the involvement of the private sector and civil society."



COMMENTS

31 October 2004
I am convinced that President Thabo Mbeki is unaware that participation in the Nepad initiative is only available to a select few - invitations to the Nepad stakeholders dialogue at the Sandton Convention Centre were very selectively directed - all attempts to secure an invitation failed.
For more than two years we have been pleading with the NEPAD secretariat to allow our people to participate in this initiative.
Our pleas have been ignored!
We will continue to serve Africa within the framework of the NEPAD plea to Africa:
"The African peoples must take up the challenge of mobilising in support of the implementation of this initiative (AFRICA RENEWAL PROGRAMME) by setting up, at all levels, structures for organisation, mobilisation and action!"
Peter METCALFE

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