The New Partnership for Africa's Development : African economic growth and regional cooperation

Botha, Jacobus Lodewicus (2003-03)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Ever since the 1960's independence move, the African continent has been faced with dire economic and social realities, which were compounded by weak political leadership and state institutions. Although various socio-economic development initiatives, such as the 1980 Lagos Plan of Action and the eventual signing of the Abuja Treaty in 1991 purposed to support Africa's integration into the global economy through export orientated production and regional economic integration, there still existed an incoherency in the strategic response from the continent's political leaders towards regional and continental economic development strategies. While the foundation for establishing an African Economic Community has been laid through the Abuja Treaty within the framework of the Organisation for African Unity, regional economic and trade integration have been fragmented, with many dual and overlapping membership of regional economic communities. Integration endeavours have also often been impeded by national and sub-regional armed conflicts, and thus did not result in the desired levels of economic growth and expected increases in trade. The exigency to address Africa's severe poverty and unemployment, while at the same time placing the continent on a path of sustainable economic growth and development, made it clear that Africa had to take ownership and responsibility for its own development, while at the same time facilitating the continent's integration into the global political, economic, trade, and financial systems. Since Africa lacks sufficient development resources, African leaders realised the importance for support from the international community through more effective debt relief strategies in facilitating targeted domestic resource mobilisation, increased levels of development aid and trade access to developed nations' markets. In 2001 Africa produced its own integrated development initiative that was embodied in the New Partnership for Africa's Development, also known as NEPAD, premised on African leadership, ownership and partnership. Through NEPAD African leaders express a commitment to accountable and transparent political, financial, fiscal and monetary management in the absence of national and regional conflict, while calling on the international community and African and international private sectors to partnership with African governments in their development endeavours. At the same time, NEPAD identified critical sectoral priorities as preconditions for development that would facilitate greater flows of foreign direct investments. As operational sphere, NEPAD relies on prominent regional economic communities to address Africa's economic disadvantages and market fragmentation through development of trade linkages, harmonisation of regulatory frameworks and further regional trade liberalisation. The emphasis is on fostering a favourable African investment environment since it is acknowledged by African leaders that a prosperous private sector and business community are to be the engines of economic growth and development. The success of NEPAD as the socio-economic development plan of the newly formed African Union relies on the strength of only three supportive pillars namely: the sustained political visionary commitment from Africa's leaders, greater investments to the continent and trade access for Africa's products, and active participation from representative sectors of the private sector. Since NEPAD is a highly ambitious initiative, it is imperative that sub-regional strategies take precedence in ensuring NEPAD's long-term success.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Sedert die onafhanklikheidsbeweging van die 1960's staar die Afrika-kontinent knellende ekonomiese en sosiale realiteite in die gesig. Realiteite wat deur swak politieke leierskap en staatsinstellings vererger is. Alhoewel verskeie sosio-ekonomiese ontwikkelingsinisiatiewe, soos die 1980 Lagos Plan van Aksie en die uiteindelike ondertekening van die Abuja-verdrag in 1991, beoog het om Afrika se integrasie in die wêreldekonomie te steun deur uitvoer-georiënteerde produksie en ekonomiese integrasie op streeksvlak, was die kontinent se politieke leiers se reaksie op regionale en kontinentale ekonomiese ontwikkelingstrategië inkoherent. Die fondasie vir die tot stand koming van 'n Afrika Ekonomiese Gemeenskap is deur die Abujaverdrag gelê binne die raamwerk van die Organisasie vir Afrika-eenheid, maar op streeksvlak was ekonomiese en handelsintegrasie gefragmenteerd - met 'n hoë voorkoms van dubbele en oorvleuelende lidmaatskap by regionale ekonomiese gemeenskappe. Pogings tot integrasie is ook dikwels deur gewapende konflikte, nasionaal en subregionaal, belemmer. Voorts het die gewenste vlakke van ekonomiese groei en verwagte toename in handel nie gerealiseer nie. Die dringendheid om Afrika se uiterste armoede en werkloosheid aan te spreek, en terselfdertyd die kontinent op 'n pad van volhoubare ekonomiese groei en ontwikkeling te plaas, het dit duidelik gemaak dat Afrika self verantwoordelikheid sal moet neem vir sy ontwikkeling, en daarteenoor die kontinent se integrasie in globale politieke, ekonomiese, handel-, en finansiële sisteme moet fasiliteer. Aangesien Afrika nie oor voldoende ontwikkelingsbronne beskik nie, het Afrika-leiers die belangrikheid besef van die internasionale gemeenskap se steun, d.m.v. meer effektiewe skuldlenigingstrategieë in die fasilitering van gefokuste plaaslike hulpbronmobilisasie, verhoogde vlakke van ontwikkelingshulp en handelstoegang tot markte van ontwikkelde nasies. In 2001 lewer Afrika sy eie geïntegreerde ontwikkelingsinisiatief wat vergestalt word in die Nuwe Vennootskap vir Afrika se Ontwikkeling (New Partnership for Africa's Development), ook bekend as Nepad, met Afrika-leierskap, -eienaarskap en -vennootskap as basis. Afrika-leiers betuig deur Nepad 'n verbintenis tot verantwoordbare en deursigtige politieke, finansiële, fiskale en monetêre bestuur in die afwesigheid van nasionale en streekskonflik, terwyl hulle die internasionale gemeenskap en internasionale en Afrika-privaatsektore nader vir vennootskap met Afrika-regerings in hulle ontwikkelingspogings. Nepad identifiseer terselfdertyd kritieke sektorale prioriteite as voorwaardes vir ontwikkeling, wat groter vloei van direkte buitelandse belegging sal vergemaklik. As operasionele sfeer, maak Nepad staat op prominente regionale ekonomiese gemeenskappe om Afrika se ekonomiese agterstande en markfragmentasie aan te spreek deur die uitbou van handelskakelings, harmonisering van regulatoriese raamwerke en verdere regionale handelsliberalisering. Die klem is daarop om 'n gunstige investeringsomgewing in Afrika te bevorder, aangesien Afrika-leiers erken dat 'n florerende privaatsektor en besigheidsgemeenskap die dryfkrag vir ekonomiese groei en ontwikkeling is. Nepad se sukses as die sosio-ekonomiese ontwikkelingsplan vir die nuut-gevormde Afrika-unie berus op die krag van slegs drie ondersteunende pilare, naamlik: die volgehoue politieke verbintenis tot die visie deur Afrika-leiers, groter beleggings in die kontinent en handelstoegang vir Afrika se produkte, en aktiewe deelname van verteenwoordigende sektore uit die privaatsektor. Met 'n hoogs ambisieuse inisiatief soos Nepad, is dit gebiedend noodsaaklik dat subregionale strategieë voorkeur geniet ten einde Nepad se langtermyn sukses te verseker.

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