NEPAD – Meaning, History, Features, Aims & Objectives

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New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD)

In this article, an attempt will be made explain the meaning of NEPAD and aims and objectives NEPAD.


What is NEPAD?

The New Economic Partnership for African Development (abbreviated as NEPAD) is an economic development programme of the African Union (AU). It was established on October 15, 2001 at a summit of the African Union in Lusaka, Zambia.

NEPAD was a merger of two different plans initiated by different African leaders. They are the Millennium Partnership for African Recovery. Programme produced by Thabo Mbeki (former President of South Africa) and Olusegun Obasanjo (former Nigeria’s president) and the Omega Plan for Africa initiated by Abdoulaye Wade (former President of Senegal).

Aims and Objectives of NEPAD

The main aims and objectives of New Economic Partnership for African Development (abbreviated as NEPAD) include:

  • To seek to increase private capital tlow into Africa.
  • To seek better market access for African products.
  • To strive for better‘health for the people.
  • To bridge the educational gap.
  • To promote agileulture.

In a nutshell, NEPAD seeks to promote economic cooperation and development within individual African countries, between African countries and between African and other countries. To this extent, the objectives of NEPAD are laudable, at least on paper.

In practice, it is difficult to evaluate the extent to which these objectives have been achieved given the non-availability of the relevant data. Anecdotal evidence, however, shows that the African Union and other subregional organizations are fond of passing resolution or articulating programmes which they either lack the capacity to implement or even never hope to implement.

That is, they are mere rhetorics designed to show that African leaders are doing something about the poor living conditions among the majority of the African population.

In this regard, NEPAD is like the African Parliament and the African court which the African Union planned to establish but which have not taken off several years after its creation in 2002.

Furthermore, many African countries have experienced growth in their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but this has not significantly translated into improvement in the living conditions of the people.

Thus, what we have, in many cases, is growth without development. What Africans need is development and‘not growth per se.

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