Nepad is Not in the Construction Business

Linked with Jerry Okungu – Kenya.

Published on AfriMAP, by Jerry Okungu, July 25, 2006.

… First, the world needs to be reminded that Nepad was founded in Lusaka, Zambia in July 2001, exactly five years this month. Since then it has produced three annual reports, the first one being in July 2003.

Nepad was formed specifically to tackle the challenges facing Africa then and now and these challenges included persistent political conflicts, civil conflicts, governance problems, poverty, underdevelopment and declining investment levels.

To tackle the above problems, the African Heads of State, Abdoulaye Wade included, gave Nepad guidelines to tackle Africa’s myriad problems.

It was expected to formulate, create and promote policies and programmes to eradicate poverty and inequality, place the continent on the path of growth and development, halt the continent’s marginalisation, accelerate women’s empowerment, harness African ownership and leadership, accelerate regional and continental integration and create new partnerships among Africans and between Africa and the rest of the world.


Nowhere in the Nepad Charter is there a place where Nepad was mandated to build roads, bridges and dams across the continent as proof of its success. If President Wade wants Nepad to join the construction industry, then he must go back to his peers and persuade them to amend the charter.

THE TROUBLE with Africa is its ability to think up new initiatives very quickly but somehow along the way, renege on them! The initiators became impatient with the idea if they don’t see results the following morning. We never give our ideas time to grow and evolve into reality.

Someone should tell President Abdoulaye Wade that it took the European Union 60 years to get to where they are today, while it took the OAU 40 years to do nothing.

Because ideas take time to grow, it is shortsighted for founders of an idea to expect to realise their dreams in their lifetime. It sometimes takes three to four generations of leaders to make an impact. (full text).

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