African Union adopts its first development agency
The Executive Council of the African Union adopted the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), as the first development agency of the African Union, with its clearly defined mandate and legal identity.
The decision was endorsed at the 35th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council held in Niamey, on 4-5 July.
The transformation of NEPAD into the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) was one of the main initiatives submitted in 2018 to the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, through his global reform designed to improve the Union’s impact and operational efficiency.
At the core of the continent’s transformation efforts since its establishment in the early 2000s, NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development) was born out of a vision embraced by its founding fathers, that of a prosperous, interconnected and rich Africa for each of its countries and their inhabitants.
The birth of NEPAD was the first concrete manifestation of the will of African States to regain leadership on the continent’s development issue. NEPAD was the first international institution to take a truly African perspective on this crucial issue. This rejuvenation of the Pan-African credo was coupled with a pragmatic approach to regional integration that focuses on regional economic communities, making them centres of policy definition and coordination.
The role of the NEPAD Agency was reaffirmed in Agenda 2063 as set out by the African Union in 2013. In particular, it is responsible for implementing the continent’s major projects for regional integration, with the close involvement of the private sector.
The AU Assembly of July 2018 in Nouakchott approved the establishment of AUDA-NEPAD as the technical executive agency and development anchor of the continent with its distinct identity defined by its own statute, to deliver on the development priorities articulated by the AU in its Agenda 2063.
“This transformation enshrines the role of the AUDA-NEPAD at the core of the African Union pan-African development strategies. The Agency will play an important role in fostering coordination within the AU system by providing knowledge-based advisory services and technical assistance to African Union Member States and regional economic communities. AUDA-NEPAD will act as a catalyst for Africa’s integration and play a fundamental role in the operationalisation of the AU Continental Free Trade Area,” said Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of the AUDA-NEPAD.
The new AUDA-NEPAD mandate gives the organisation a wider role in terms of providing knowledge-based advisory support to AU Member States with regards to development strategies and capacity development, to support them in driving their development. It is expected to play a critical role in disseminating best practices, and will support countries’ efforts in developing their capacity and leverage on regional and global partnerships. (AUDA-NEPAD)