UNITED Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan says 23 African countries that have submitted to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad)’s peer review mechanism are benefiting economica
lly and in governance areas.
In a Nepad assessment report released last week, Annan said the adoption of the peer review mechanism had enabled countries involved to access more international aid.
“A distinguishing feature of Nepad is developing sectoral policy frameworks, implementing specific programmes and projects and developing ways of good governance,” Annan said.
“It combines articulation of policy framework on specific issues with the implementation of programmes in sectoral priority issues,” Annan said in his report. “The past year has been marked by progress in the implementation of the Nepad initiative.”
Annan said the commitment of 23 African countries which have subjected themselves to assessment on their standards of democracy, human rights, governance and economic management by peers was a stepping-stone towards economic emancipation.
Nepad was adopted by African leaders in 2001 and includes a peer review mechanism, a voluntary process by which members agree to subject their standards of governance and economic policies to scrutiny by their peers.
Zimbabwe has not signed up to the peer review mechanism and is among the countries on the continent referred to by Annan as “lagging behind in the development initia-tive”.
Annan highlighted the role played by the UN in assisting Nepad members to realise its goals in social and economic development.
“The UN has a key role to play in mobilising international support to Nepad. In this regard, the secretary-general has set up an advisory panel, consisting of 13 members, to assist him in monitoring international support to Nepad,” Annan said.
UN agencies such as the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Children’s Education Fund have greatly assisted in development programmes in Nepad member nations.
Annan cited South Africa as an example of a country which had gained a lot from international partnerships forged through Nepad.
President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and leaders of Nigeria, Senegal,Algeria and Egypt are the major proponents of Nepad and its peer review mechanism.