n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Die Afrika-Unie en NEPAD : die vooruitsigte op nuwe ontwikkelingsvennootskappe

Volume 44, Issue 2_3
  • ISSN : 0041-4751


This paper describes the African Renaissance, the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). It assesses the prospects for co-operation and integration, as well as the sustainability of NEPAD, especially the "partnerships" implied in this project. Three types are envisaged: with the developed world (mainly the G8), the private sector (multinational and African) and civil society. It traces NEPAD's roots to the Africanist Pan-African Movement working for the political unification of Africa, and the integrationist Lagos Plan of Action (1980) and the Abuja Treaty (1991), working for market-integration. It shows how the Pan-Africanist roots led to the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (1963) and the discourse about the African Renaissance. The integrationist Abuja Treaty foresaw an African Economic Community on the analogy of the European market. In the Sirte Declaration (1999) these were combined. The CSSDCA (mooted in 1991; and adopted in 2002) introduced a security dimension to which the new African Union also subscribes, and goes further with the creation of an African Peace and Security Council. Against this background came MAP, Omega, NAI and eventually NEPAD in 2001. NEPAD goes further than continental union and integration: it makes security and good governance requirements for development through the range of partnerships for African development mentioned above. Specifically, NEPAD strives to generate external funding (a North/South partnership) for African development. This manifests in the G8 Action Plan for Africa as well as a whole range of NEPAD projects, the details of which are still being awaited. Continental and regional integration are in line with NEPAD initiatives, but are not preconditions for NEPAD, except that regional organisations will assist in the implementation of NEPAD projects. But a single implementation agency with executive capacity is still lacking. A crucial feature of NEPAD (which is part of the African Union (AU) since the latter's founding) is the peer review mechanism (APRM) which provides for voluntary intervention into the domestic affairs of states that don't comply with the standards of good governance. It is proposed that the AU will eventually manage the political dimensions of the peer review mechanism while the UN Economic Commission for Africa as well as the African Development Bank will assist NEPAD with economic peer review. Having delegated political aspects to the AU might compromise the independence of arguably the most innovative aspect of NEPAD.

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