NEPAD and Its Achilles Heels
By Dorina A. Bekoe
Each passing year reinforces Africa’s grim statistics of a continent in which many states are overtaken by poverty and conflict. In 2001, to cite just one statistic, 72 percent of the countries in Africa (39 of 54) were classified as low income - meaning that gross national income was below $745 annually. Equally dismal, conflict and instability in all the sub-regions continue to spread refugees. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees reports 6.3 million refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced people, returnees and other vulnerable groups, out of a total of 22.3 million globally, existed in Africa in 1999.2 Against this background, African heads of states proposed and adopted the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to provide solutions to stem Africa’s continuing economic and political devastation. With NEPAD, African heads of state promise adherence to tenets of good political and economic governance to engender Africa’s development. Essential to the NEPAD plan, and in return for compliance with democratic and free market norms, is the restructuring of the partnership between Africa and the developed world, particularly the Group of Eight industrialized counties (G8).
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