Memorandum submitted by the Foreign and
THE NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR AFRICA'S DEVELOPMENT
(NEPAD) AND THE G8 ACTION PLAN FOR AFRICA
1. Building a new partnership with Africa
is a long term agenda. The vision for this partnership was initially
developed and articulated by a small group of African leaders,
led by President Mbeki, and then endorsed by the OAU. The G8 Action
Plan announced in Kananaskis on 27 June is a significant response
to the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) but not
the totality of the international response. Much remains to be
done to fulfil the commitments that African leaders have made
in the context of NEPAD and to put the wide ranging G8 commitments
THE G8 ACTION
2. The text of the G8 Action Plan for Africa
agreed by the G8 leaders is attached.
It was prepared though a series of discussion meetings conducted
among Personal Representatives of G8 leaders (Baroness Amos representing
the Prime Minister), in a dialogue with representatives of the
NEPAD leaders. The opening statement gives strong political support
for NEPAD, recognises its African ownership and speaks of a new
partnership based on mutual responsibility and respect. It includes
a commitment that half or more of the new development funds announced
in Monterrey could be used in African countries that create the
right policy environment. This is a key commitment that could
reverse the decline in aid flows to Africa.
3. The rest of the Action Plan is divided
into sections that respond to priority issues identified by NEPAD.
Peace and Security issues were top of the UK agenda. The G8 commitments
in support of NEPAD's peace and security agenda break new ground.
They were warmly endorsed by Kofi Annan. They provide a new basis
for engagement by G8 members, in support of the UN Secretary General,
to tackle the major conflicts in Africa. There are also important
new commitments to develop African conflict resolution and peacekeeping
capacity in a more co-ordinated way, provided that African leaders
themselves can agree on defining the mechanisms.
4. The G8 Action Plan covers a very wide
development agenda. Other sections address strengthening Institutions
and Governance; fostering Trade, Economic Growth and Sustainable
Development; implementing Debt Relief; expanding Knowledge (Education
and ICT); improving Health and confronting HIV/AIDS; increasing
Agricultural productivity and improving Water Resource Management.
It was never envisaged that there would be new funding or delivery
mechanisms for the Action Plan. The intention is that the G8 will
fulfil its commitments through work in existing international
institutions and using existing aid instruments.
5. In parallel with the preparation of the
G8 Action Plan, NEPAD itself embarked on the process of developing
its own Implementation Plan. With only a small secretariat, their
approach was to engage with African regional organisations, including
the Organisation of African Unity, the UN Economic Commission
for Africa (ECA) and the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), as well
as international organisations such as the Food and Agriculture
Organisation (FAO), to elaborate proposals in support of NEPAD
priorities. Key areas of work were their Peace and Security initiative
and their Political, Economic and Corporate Governance Initiative.
The resolution of conflict and improvements in governance had
been identified in NEPAD as pre-conditions for sustainable development
for which African leaders wanted to take responsibility.
6. NEPAD has also had to pay attention to
political issues. The establishment of a 15 member Implementation
Committee last October helped to expand its ownership, and NEPAD
has worked, with some success, to gain broad acceptance in Africa.
It had to overcome initial suspicion from other African states
about its composition and lack of representativeness. Some African
civil society organisations criticised NEPAD for not arranging
fuller public discussion of its programme. Proposals to improve
governance had to be explained and were questioned in some quarters
as an attempt undermine the principle of African solidarity. African
silence on the acute political problems in Zimbabwe encouraged
scepticism about NEPAD from the outside world. The NEPAD leadership
has argued that problems like Zimbabwe illustrate precisely why
NEPAD's emphasis on governance is so important and why they deserve
support for trying to find ways to address it.
7. Underlying NEPAD was the intent that
Africans would come up with a coherent programme to raise standards
of political and economic governance on the continent. NEPAD has
risen to the taskwhich would be a tough political challenge
on any continentto produce a Declaration on Democracy,
Political, Economic and Corporate Governance and proposals for
an African Peer Review Mechanism to back it up. These are African
owned and not donor driven commitments. The Declaration is a good
text, consistent with international best practice, which spells
out clearly the principles of good governance. The peer review
proposals are innovative. Although voluntary, the states which
accede to it will accept scrutiny, by other Africans, of their
management of public affairs, agreeing in effect to hold one another
to their governance commitments. These proposals remain politically
contentious in Africa and are being discussed at this weeks meeting
in Durban of the OAU/Africa Union.
8. NEPAD continues to work to position itself
in the wider network of African regional politics and its work
on Peace and Security is being developed in this context. It is
increasingly described as a programme of the Africa Union, and
defines its role as a catalyst for advancing Africa's development
9. There is clearly further work to be done
by both sides to implement their commitments to produce an environment
in which sustainable development can be achieved. But it should
be seen as part of a continuing process to create a new kind of
development partnership. G8 leaders undertook to ensure the effective
implementation of the Action Plan and asked their Personal Representatives
for Africa to provide a report on progress at the next G8 summit
in France. Follow-up on the different aspects of the Action Plan
will need to be taken forward in the fora with competence in those
areasfor example, the World Trade Organisation is the correct
forum for action on trade.
10. The Prime Minister has announced that
UK bilateral aid to Africa will rise to £1 billion by 2006.
This will represent a tripling of the resources spent in Africa
from the time this Government first took office in 1997, and underscores
our continuing commitment to poverty reduction and reform in Africa.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
10 July 2002
1 Not printed. See http:/www.g8.gc.ca/kan-docs/afraction-e.asp Back