By Stephen Kafeero
This call was made by AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Dr Anthony Mothae Maruping as representatives of African governments, United Nations Agencies, the African Union Commission and other strategic development partners concluded a two day meeting of the NEPAD Steering Committee in Centurion, South Africa.
“Infrastructure development in Africa needs to be adequately funded through the continent’s own resources in order to impact lives. African ownership and leadership is critical for achieving these results,” he said.
The Committee which is grouping of personal appointees of African heads of state and is responsible for developing the terms of reference for identified NEPAD projects and for over-seeing the work and activities NEPAD’s regional Programmes came up with clear map of activities for the Agency
Making his presentation to more than 40 delegates Chief Executive Officer Dr Ibrahim Mayaki highlighted some of NEPAD’ s achievements since the last meeting which was held prior to the AU Golden Jubilee Summit in Addis Ababa in May this year.
There has been progress on the Cotonou Declaration on Rural Development, which calls for the mobilisation of partnerships at various levels for Africa’s rural transformation; extensive planning is underway for the Dakar Financing Conference November 5 to 6, which will lay emphasis on political support and the role that the private sector will play in supporting infrastructural development in Africa; AU and Regional Economic Community task-team on Infrastructure which Dr Mayaki also leads has made significant steps.
“The upcoming Dakar Financing Conference provides an innovative mechanism and instrument for the financing of African development programmes such as the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and will foster synergies between the public and private sector,” said Dr Mayaki.
The Conference is being co-organised by the Government of Senegal and the NEPAD Agency as well as other partners. It will galvanise the continent’s most influential leaders from government, industry and finance to accelerate African investment into infrastructure and other development causes.
“It will show Africa’s own financing competencies and is a first step what Africa can do for itself,” Gnounka Diouf, Chairperson of the NEPAD Steering Committee, said. Diouf is the personal representative to the Committee, of Senegalese President Macky Sall, who is also the Chairperson of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee.
The Africa Development Bank (AfDB) who hosted the Steering Committee Meeting praised the partnership between the AUC, NEPAD Agency and AfDB under PIDA which has achieved “formidable results in advancing Africa’s infrastructure development”.
Director for Regional Integration and Trade, Alex Rugamba said this has been critical in launching the joint Africa50Fund, which will facilitate large-scale funding from the private sector.
Africa’s engagements in recent global development processes such as the Africa Partnership Forum, TICAD V, and the 2013 G8 and G20 Summits were also discussed.
The working session concluded with a special tribute to the outgoing Steering Committee members from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tunisia, Lesotho and Namibia for their services in advancing NEPAD.