We members of social movements, trade unions, youth and women's organisations, faith-based organisations, academics, NGOs and other popular civil society organisations from the whole of Africa, meeting in Port Shepstone, South Africa, 28 July 2002 on the threshold of the launch of the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa's Development in Durban, critically examined NEPAD in the context of the struggles for Africa's development and emancipation.
While conscious of the importance of joint endeavours for the development of Africa, this 'new international partnership' initiative ignores and sidelines past and existing programmes and efforts by Africans themselves to resolve Africa's crises and move forward from programmes such as the Lagos Plan of Action (1980) and the Abuja Treaty (1991), the African Alternative Framework to Structural Adjustment Programmes (AAF-SAAP, 1989), the African Charter for Popular Participation and Development (Arusha Charter, 1990) and the Cairo Agenda (1994).
In contrast to such programmes, NEPAD is mainly concerned with raising external financial resources, appealing to and relying on external governments and institutions. In addition, it is a top-down programme driven by African elites and drawn up with the corporate forces and institutional instruments of globalisation, rather than being based on African peoples experiences, knowledge and demands. A legitimate African programme has to start from the people and be owned by the people.
We take as our point of departure, and build upon, the many fundamental critiques of NEPAD from all over the continent, such as the statements of the African Social Forum (Bamako, Mali, January 2002) and of CODESRIA (Council for Development and Social Science Research in Africa) with the Third World Network-Africa (Accra, April 2002) and others.
During our deliberations and wide-ranging discussions on NEPAD we focused on the following key aspects and reached the following conclusions.