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NEPAD and the African ‘Resource Gap’ - A critical examination

Johan Dahl, Rehabeam Shilimela

December 2002


Posted with permission of the Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit (NEPRU).
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Copyright 2003 by the Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit
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In the post-colonial era there have been several attempts by African leaders to formulate initiatives to boost development on the continent. The most recent of these, spearheaded by three prominent leaders, is the ‘New Partnership for Africa’s Development’ (NEPAD). NEPAD came about as a result of a merger between the Millennium Partnership for Africa’s Recovery Programme (MAP) and the Omega plan, which was finalised on the 3rd of July 2001, following the resolution order by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). From this merger the New African Initiative (NAI) was born, and was approved by OAU Heads of state and the Government Summit on the 11th of July 2001. The NAI policy framework was finalised by the Heads of State Implementation Committee (HSIC) on the 23rd of October 2001, forming the NEPAD.

The development of NEPAD was not based on a ‘bottom up’ approach, and its implementation depends mostly on the approval of a group of industrialised countries, most notably the Group of Eight (G8). Despite this ‘top down’ approach, the NEPAD plan should be recognised as a long overdue response to Africa’s perpetual underdevelopment and poverty. The feasibility of the NEPAD goals and objectives will be elaborated upon in this paper, with a special focus on what the NEPAD plan has labelled the ‘resource gap’.

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