Reporting on Environment and Sustainable Development in Africa

African Heads of State and Government adopted NEPAD at the thirty-seventh Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in Lusaka, Zambia from 9-11 July 2001. The NEPAD policy framework was finalized by the Heads of State Implementation Committee on 23 October 2001. In adopting NEPAD, African Heads of State and Government realized that Africa can only take its proper place in the international community if it gains economic strength, hence the objective of NEPAD is to stimulate Africa’s development by bridging existing gaps in priority sectors, which include agriculture, health, education, infrastructure, information and communication technology, environment, tourism, S&T, the African Peer Review Mechanism, and engagement of the private sector and civil society. NEPAD was designed to meet the AU’s development objectives and serves as a programme of the AU. NEPAD recognizes S&T as central to the goals of promoting economic recovery, poverty reduction, better human health, good governance and environmental sustainability in Africa.

Since its adoption, NEPAD has increasingly gained recognition from the international community and Africa’s development partners. In November 2002, the United Nations General Assembly passed a declaration (A/RES/57/2) and a resolution on NEPAD (A/RES/57/7), affirming the UN system’s support for the implementation of NEPAD and recommending that the international community use NEPAD as its framework to support development in Africa. The Secretary General also established the Office of the Special Advisor on Africa to coordinate the UN’s support to Africa, guide reporting on Africa and coordinate global advocacy in support of NEPAD. The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation adopted at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, recognized that NEPAD provides a framework for sustainable development in Africa. This Plan of Implementation also called on the international community to: promote technology development, transfer and diffusion to Africa; further develop the technology and knowledge available to African centers of excellence; and support African countries in developing institutions and research activities capable of developing and adapting “world-class” technologies.

NEPAD Water Framework: NEPAD’s water and sanitation objectives are to: 

ensure sustainable access to safe and adequate clean water supply and sanitation, especially for the poor;
plan and manage water resources to become a basis for national and regional cooperation and development;
systematically address and sustain ecosystems, biodiversity and wildlife;
cooperate on shared rivers among member states;
effectively address the threat of climate change; and
ensure enhanced irrigation and rainfed agriculture to improve agricultural production and food security.

NEPAD Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Programme (WSIP): NEPAD-WSIP aims at developing regional infrastructure, harmonizing sectoral procedures, enhancing financial flows towards investment in infrastructure, and developing skills and knowledge for the installation, operation and maintenance of water and sanitation infrastructure. A Short-Term Action Plan (STAP) has been developed and is under implementation. A Medium-to Long-Term Strategic Framework (MLTSF) is under study.

NEPAD Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP): The CAADP initiative is a manifestation of African governments' commitment to address issues of agricultural sector growth, rural development and food security. It aims to promote interventions that best respond to Africa’s food insecurity. CAADP has been designed to promote investment in four key areas that can make a difference to Africa’s food and agriculture situation. The CAADP estimate for agricultural development is about US$ 251 billion. Of this, about US$37 billion is targeted to increase the area under irrigation to 20 million hectares by 2015.

NEPAD Environment Action Plan: The development of the action plan for the environment initiative of NEPAD was guided by the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) and was endorsed by the Assembly of the African Union at its second ordinary session, held in Maputo in July 2003.  The overall objectives of the action plan are to complement relevant African processes, including the work programme of the revitalized AMCEN, with a view of improving environmental conditions in Africa in order to contribute to the achievement of economic growth and poverty eradication. It will also build Africa’s capacity to implement regional and international environmental agreements and to effectively address the African environmental challenges in the overall context of the implementation of NEPAD. The action plan is organized in clusters of programmatic and project activities to be implemented over an initial period of ten years covering the following priority sectors and cross-cutting issues as identified in Environment Initiative of NEPAD: combating land degradation, drought and desertification; wetlands; invasive species; marine and coastal resources; cross-border conservation of natural resources; climate change; and cross-cutting issues. The action plan also complements the on-going AMCEN activities including the generation and dissemination of environmental information in Africa; programme on poverty and environment in Africa, environmental assessment in Africa; and the strengthening of the collaboration with major bodies in Africa. 

Africa’s Comprehensive Plan on Science and Technology: Water sciences and technologies constitute one of NEPAD’s flagship programmes. The NEPAD flagship programme is designed to strengthen the continent’s ability to harness and apply science and technology to address the challenges of securing adequate clean water and managing the continent’s water resources. A specific strategy on ways and means of establishing an African network of centres of excellence in water sciences and technology is being developed.

NEPAD Statements, Declarations and Documents

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