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NEPAD - THE GOOD NEWS

NEPAD DIALOGUE
31 MARCH 2004

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Nepad for Africa's prosperity. This was recommended as the theme for future communications at the end of a New Partnership for Africa's Development continental advocacy campaign workshop held in Bamako, Mali, on March 23 to 25 2004.

Six countries were represented - Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, South Africa and Rwanda - with delegates from Nepad focal points, civil society, the UN agencies and the African Union (AU).

The daily discussion sessions of the workshop were focused on communicating Nepad to Africa and beyond.

Main recommendations were: all country structures, Nepad secretariat, AU and the UN need to develop advocacy and communications strategies based on information sensitisation; mobilisation of support; popularisation; monitoring and evaluation.

To communicate consistent messages three types of meetings should be held on a regular basis: The Nepad secretariat and the Nepad country structures for planning and implementation purposes; Nepad secretariat, AU and UN for policy co-ordination; all stakeholders involved in the communications and advocacy for Nepad (should be held every three months).

There must be African passion when communicating Nepad. Messages need to appeal emotionally to Africans, touch their hearts and generate change in their behaviour. Africans need to know and feel how Nepad can affect their individual lives in order for them to defend it and make a positive contribution.

Nepad goals and objectives should not be transmitted as givens to people but as vehicles to change their lives.

All Africans have the responsibility for making a contribution to achieve the Nepad dream of developing a new Africa.

Nepad must be projected as a home-grown programme of Africans by Africans if it has to generate the passionate appeal and succeed.

Co-ordination between Nepad, the AU and the UN should continue to ensure that Nepad was at the forefront of policy making and public agenda. The co-ordination should also maximise the use of existing communications and advocacy networks, UN and non-UN.

UN and the office of the special adviser for Africa should ensure that the issues of Africa are firmly kept on the agenda of the rest of the world, particularly the Group of Eight.

Nepad communications should be substantiated by real life success stories to ensure credibility. This should include the use of local languages to reach grass roots and rural communities.

Communications in Africa should reduce the impact of negative reporting about the continent including negative aspects of globalisation.

The Mali workshop was organised by the Nepad secretariat as a preparatory workshop for a future communications conference. It was recommended that a follow-up be held in June before the AU summit.

Africa's regional economic communities (RECs) have a major role to play in seeing that Nepad objectives, goals and strategies are translated into practical programmes, projects and activities at the subregional and member-state level.

During an Abuja meeting in October 2003, the chief executives of the RECs made a commitment to take steps to promote the ownership of Nepad in their respective organisations and member countries by placing the implementation of the Nepad programmes and projects as a standing agenda item at the RECs summits and meetings of other key committees or institutions; establishing a Nepad focal point for advocacy, liaison and co-ordination with member-country agencies and stakeholders and; promoting the establishment of similar Nepad focal points or desks in the member countries.

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