Address by Deputy President Zuma to
the NEPAD Financing For Development Conference, Dakar
Your Excellency, President of the Republic of Senegal,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers present,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Representatives of the private sector,
We meet once again, to discuss an issue that is closest
to our hearts, that of achieving sustainable development
and economic growth in our continent.
Allow me, Your Excellency, to extend the apology of
President Mbeki, who very much wanted to be here, but
could not make it due to pressing matters of the continent,
and in a very direct way, impacting on NEPAD, such as
the Inter-Congolese Dialogue.
Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, we are faced
with an enormous responsibility of rebuilding our continent
and improving the quality of life of all its peoples.
Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, we are confident
of achieving this new Africa together, through the New
Partnership For Africa's Development, NEPAD.
Let me, from the onset emphasise that NEPAD is not
the first development plan for Africa. For example,
in 1991, the United Nations Development Agenda for Africa
was instituted. African leaders committed themselves
to, among other things, good governance, adherence to
a culture of human rights and ending conflicts.
The commitment of African leaders to ensuring a better
life for the peoples of the continent was also evident
in the struggles for decolonisation of the continent,
waged under the auspices of the Organisation for African
The various regional economic blocs that are in existence
were also formed for the reason of improving the quality
NEPAD is therefore an extension of that commitment
of Africa to achieve a better continent. While not being
the first development plan for Africa, NEPAD is new
in the sense that for the first time, African leaders
have taken the initiative and have become actively involved
in the conceptualization of the programme and in working
towards its implementation.
This programme is the concretization of many of these
previous agreements and pledges made by African leaders.
In other words, Africa has moved beyond words to concrete
action plans, which are being articulated and implemented
by the African leaders themselves. This has indeed introduced
a new approach to issues and a new way of doing things,
and this is what distinguishes NEPAD from previous development
Another element, which needs to be taken into consideration,
is the involvement of civil society. This matter received
a lot of attention at the Third African Development
Forum meeting in Addis Ababa last month. The involvement
of the non-governmental sector was seen as crucial to
enhancing the success of our objectives.
We believe that a lot of progress has been made already.
You would be aware, ladies and gentlemen, that the Heads
of State and Government have made pledges to implement
various policies and programmes.
These include programmes geared towards strengthening
the democratic process, promoting good governance, observance
and protection of human rights, ensuring the freedom
of the media, and undertaking various institutional
reforms to ensure the sustainability of these objectives.
In this regard, the meeting of the Heads of State Implementation
Committee of NEPAD adopted a Draft Report on Good Governance
At the same meeting, a consensus emerged on the establishment
of an African peer review mechanism, under the auspices
of NEPAD's democracy and good governance initiative.
The Abuja Summit stressed that the mechanism should
be designed, owned and managed by Africans.
The meeting also recommended that the technical aspects
of the peer review mechanism should be conducted by
an independent, credible African institution.
You would also be aware, distinguished guests, that
the African Union is being restructured to enable it
to meet the challenges imposed by the new global conditions,
and for it to be able to operate and execute its mandate
in the new environment and new way of doing things in
We must also record, the commitment of African leaders
to good governance and democracy as evident in the decision
of the Organisation for African Unity not to recognize
leaders who come to power through military means.
The implementation of undertakings we make is crucial,
as good political governance is crucial to create the
right environment for good economic and corporate governance,
and also for general economic and social progress in
our respective countries.
While stressing the importance of implementing our
pledges, distinguished guests, it is also vital to note
that such implementation requires strong institutions.
Therefore, a reform of institutions and capacity building
in the continent is necessary, in order to realize this
These institutional reforms would need to include:
Strengthening parliamentary oversight,
Promoting participatory decision making,
Adoptive effective measures to combat corruption and
Undertaking judicial reforms, so that it is in keeping
with the current and advanced development in the continent.
Last month's meeting of the Heads of States Implementation
Committee in Abuja also reviewed the issue of economic
and corporate governance in Africa, with a view to promoting
sound macro-economic and public financial management
and accountability among members, while protecting their
monetary and financial systems. The meeting approved
eight draft Codes and Standards for Economic and Corporate
Governance for Africa.
Another priority for the continent is the resolution
of conflicts. Related to this question, a debate has
begun about the need to review the principle of non-interference
in the affairs of other states.
While respecting the sovereignty of all nation states,
it is also a fact that conflicts spill over into neighbouring
states and become the problem of more than one country.
The resolution of conflicts will lead to stronger states,
and will create the right environment for development
to take place.
Already, a number of initiatives are going on in the
continent, aimed at resolving conflicts, for example
in Burundi, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo
and other flashpoints.
At the core of dealing with these issues of peace,
stability and good governance, is the understanding
that it is up to governments to create an enabling environment
for increased development, trade and foreign direct
Good economic governance is necessary in order to enable
a state to deliver on its economic mandate, which entails
the eradication of poverty and economic growth.
Institutional capacity building is crucial in this
regard as some states lack the institutional framework
to achieve sound economic governance. This is an area
where our economic development partners would need to
Good economic governance will allow the opportunity
of maximizing the gains from globalisation, and will
surely create a stable and predictable envi!That is
the kind of environment that would be attractive to
the private sector, both within and outside the continent.
It would also open up opportunities for technology transfers,
and access to external markets.
Having mentioned the need for building the economic
institutional capacity, we also need to recognize that
the global financial and economic status quo is far
The financial infrastructure in the developing world,
especially Africa, is virtually non-existent. There
is a need to seriously look into ways of developing
the financial markets of African countries, as the international
financial system will also benefit by having more participants.
The restructuring of the global financial architecture
is key to enabling Africa receive the required capital
flows. This would assist the continent to meet the international
development goals and achieve the required growth that
will address poverty and underdevelopment.
Another difficulty faced by developing countries is
the question of debt traps. Debt relief should therefore
continue to be on our agenda as we engage the developed
As the developing world, we should welcome the commitments
made by the developed countries to increase funding
for Africa's development, made at the Financing for
Development conference in Monterrey, Mexico. We trust
that these commitments will be actualized soon.
Distinguished guests, the issues of sustainable development,
and reform of the world economic order are among those
that should receive robust attention at the World Summit
on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa,
later this year.
We trust that Africa and the developing world as a
whole will manage to put these issues firmly on the
agenda and ensure that concrete action plans arise from
Distinguished guests, there is indeed clear progress
being made in the arena of ensuring the implementation
of the vision and mission of NEPAD.
Given these developments, we would therefore value
the contribution of the private sector, civil society
and all other sectors in the continent. The private
sector, non-governmental organizations and civil society
in general have a crucial role to play in bringing about
the kind of new Africa we envisage.
I thank you.