Africa hails NEPAD’s impact on continent
by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – AFRICAN leaders have commended the New Partnership for Africa’s Development’s (NEPAD’s) role in the continent’s transformation and regional integration.
The leaders spoke at the 33rd NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa.
African Union Chairperson and President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, applauded NEPAD’s breakthroughs in project conceptualisation and implementation on the continent.
He said NEPAD had provided critical synergies between and among African institution, thereby enhancing a much needed continental integration.
Mugabe urged the agency to play a lead role in capacitating Regional Economic Communities to fast-track Africa’s quest for industrialisation and value addition of its vast mineral resources.
“Surely the African people cannot continue to be hewers of wood and drawers of water, while others delight in their resources, in our resources. With unwavering courage and collective determination, Africa can also industrialise in the same manner other regions have achieved industrialisation within the shortest period possible,” Mugabe said.
Newly-elected President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, was welcomed to the HSGOC. As a founding member of NEPAD, Nigeria emphasised its continued commitment to championing NEPAD programmes and projects, said Ambassador Bulus Zom Lolo, Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, reading a speech on behalf President Buhari. Ambassador highlighted commenced work on the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline from Nigeria to Algeria, as well as the Trans-Sahara Highway linking several African countries as key achievements of NEPAD.
He referred to the NEPAD Agency as a strategic body for Africa’s structural transformation.
The 20- membership NEPAD HSGOC met ahead of the 25th AU Assembly, to provide leadership to the NEPAD process as well as to set policies, priorities and the programmes of action.
Chair of the NEPAD HSGOC and President of Senegal, Macky Sall, underscored the achievements made by NEPAD in advancing regional integration through infrastructure and capacity development projects.
He noted the need to tackle illicit financial flows from Africa and to enhance the capacities of African member countries to negotiate mining and oil contracts for the social benefit of African people. President Sall also commended the NEPAD Spanish Fund for African Women’s Empowerment, in line with this year’s summit theme.
– CAJ News
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