KAMPALA, Uganda, July 28, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)
Statement by the Chairperson of the African Union His Excellency the state President of the Republic of Malawi Professor Bingu Wa Mutharika on the 23rd meeting of the NEPAD heads of state and government orientation committee (HSGOC)
Your Excellency, President Yoweri Museveni of the Republic of Uganda;
Your Excellency, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia;
Excellencies fellow African leaders;
Ladies and gentlemen.
I wish to express my profound gratitude to President Yoweri Museveni, the people and Government of the Republic of Uganda for the wonderful hospitality accorded to us since our arrival in this beautiful country.
Your Excellencies may recall that during the 14th African Union Summit held in February 2010, we, the Heads of State and Government approved the establishment of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) through the 14th AU Assembly Decision. This formed the key outcome of the AU/NEPAD integration process informed by the recommendations of the 22nd NEPAD HSGOC Summit.
Through the Assembly Decision, the NEPAD Agency was mandated to:
Facilitate and coordinate the implementation of Africa’s priority regional programs and projects;
Mobilize partners and stakeholders;
Mobilize resources for NEPAD implementation;
Conduct research and knowledge management; and
Advocate on AU/NEPAD vision, core principles and activities.
Your Excellencies, the NEPAD Agency’s mandate was to clearly distinguish its core functions from those of the AUC to avoid serious overlaps and duplications. It will be recalled that the mandate of NEPAD Secretariat was in the past based on directives from successive NEPAD HSGOC Summits and Steering Committee meetings.
Your Excellencies, this called for the identification and consolidation of NEPAD Agency’s six thematic priorities aimed at promoting greater coherence, coordination and efficiency. The six thematic priorities namely: Agriculture and Food Security; Regional Integration and Infrastructure; Climate Change and Natural Resources Management; Human Development; Economic and Corporate Governance; and Crosscutting Issues, are central to the development agenda of Africa.
Your Excellencies may also recall that when I was assuming the Chairmanship of AU, we undertook to make Africa food secure and to turn Africa into the food basket of the world. As I have stated in other fora before, I believe Africa cannot and must not live in the past. Africa must look to the future. We must therefore recognize that Africa is not a poor continent; but the people of Africa are poor. This is a very important paradigm in determining the future of Africa. Africa has a wealth of natural resources, of which, if well nurtured and developed will lead to a continent which is more developed than it is now.
For us, Africans, to move forward, we need to start by depending on our own resources for our development programs. While we acknowledge the support from our cooperating partners, we should realize that Africa can only be developed by Africans.
I am pleased to note that the mandate given to the NEPAD Agency by the AU Assembly Decision, will be instrumental in attaining this vision. The NEPAD Agency’s role as the think tank and planning unit, will aim at facilitating and coordinating implementation of continental and regional programs, mobilization of resources for the implementation of Africa’s priority programmes and projects. The role of the NEPAD Agency in conducting and coordinating research and knowledge management will create an enabling environment to achieve Food Security and agriculture development in the next five years.
In conclusion, I would also like to wish Your Excellencies success, as we prepare for the 15th African Union Summit on 26th and 27th July, 2010.
I thank you.
SOURCE: African Union Commission (AUC)