We, representatives of national and regional civil society organizations from ten African countries met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from June 17 – 18, 2002, to hold consultations on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the prospects as well the challenges it holds for Africa and African CSO’s.

 We held in-depth discussions on the NEPAD initiative as it relates to a number of critical development issues affecting Africa, including Democracy and Political Governance; Economic and Corporate Governance; Human Security, Conflict Prevention, Resolution and Peace Building; Debt Relief, Aid, Trade and Investment; Gender Equality and Equity; Child and Youth Development; and the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers and NEPAD. We also reflected on the role that CSOs can and should play in the NEPAD initiative as well as the appropriate mechanisms for such a role.

We noted that the NEPAD initiative as a whole is comprehensive and timely, particularly as it intends to be Africa owned, led and driven, although some of the economic postulations will have to be reviewed to adequately respond to Africa’s development needs.

We recognized the strategic importance of Democracy as well as good Political, Economic and Corporate Governance as instruments for creating a solid framework for sustainable development in Africa, and underscored the need for more commitment on the part of African governments in these areas, both in terms of the provisions in the NEPAD document and in practice. The meeting also noted the significance of a comprehensive Peer Review Mechanism to ensure that the NEPAD process is always on track and subject to the principles of accountability and transparency.

On the issue of Human Security, Conflict Prevention, Resolution and Peace Building, the meeting noted the devastating effects of conflict on Africa’s people and development efforts, which is derived largely from the lack of good governance and sound economic management, poverty, social despair, human right abuses as well as the lack of popular participation, accountability, transparency and social and economic justice. The meeting therefore underscored the need for a comprehensive and systematic conflict prevention, resolution and management mechanism that goes beyond the provisions in NEPAD. The Conference on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation in Africa (CSSCDA) responds to this need.

We deliberated exhaustively on the international economic order and its devastating impact on Africa’s economies, and the need for African governments to take adequate measures to address the issues of trade, foreign and domestic investment, debt and debt servicing, foreign aid, diversification of the production base and regional economic cooperation and integration.

We made a critical analysis of the imperatives of gender equality and equity as well as child and youth development to the realisation of sustainable development in Africa, and the need to adequately address these concerns in the NEPAD document. 

The meeting also examined the Poverty Reduction strategy Papers (PRSPs) within the context of NEPAD, and how each reinforces the other.

On the basis of the reflections on the issues raised above, we make the following recommendations for consideration as part of the NEPAD initiative:

1.                  African governments, in demonstration of their commitment and political will towards civil society participation in the NEPAD process, should create mechanisms through which African civil society can access and contribute to the construction of NEPAD;

2.                  Further to this, African governments should create an enabling framework to enhance CSO role in the NEPAD process;

3.                  African governments should establish a framework for partnership with CSOs in the management of the NEPAD process.

 Role of CSOs

The meeting noted that civil society participation in the NEPAD process is imperative for its success and examined the role that civil society can and should play in the process as well as the mechanisms necessary for such a role.

The meeting also noted that such a role should seek to influence and impact on the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the NEPAD process at the grassroots, national, sub-regional, regional and international levels.

In its deliberations, the meeting identified the following CSO roles: 

Mechanisms for Effective and Meaningful CSO Participation

The meeting discussed the mechanisms for effective and meaningful civil society participation in the NEPAD process and came up with the following:

·       Institutionalisation/formalisation of CSO participation, through the creation of interface mechanisms and making use of existing structures, such as the NEPAD Secretariat, the Heads of State Implementation Committee (HIPC), the NEPAD Steering Committee and ECOSOC.

·        Establish strong organizational framework for coordination at the national, sub-regional and regional levels, including ensuring the independence, internal democracy, transparency and accountability of CSOs; identifying focal points and evolving sound resource mobilization mechanisms.

·        Undertake comprehensive capacity building programmes covering the human, technical and financial aspects.

·        Build strategic alliances and coalitions amongst CSOs in Africa as well as with African CSOs in the diaspora and Northern CSOs.

·        Establish a strong information/communication strategy to facilitate information sharing and dissemination, and networking.

·        Make effective use of lobbying and advocacy as a strategy for influencing policy-making processes.

 Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism 

An effective monitoring and evaluation mechanism will ensure that the implementation of NEPAD is always on track and focused, that it remains Africa owned, driven and led, and that the well being of the African people is not compromised.

An effective M & E mechanism should therefore take account of the following:

i.                    the various levels of intervention of the NEPAD initiative, with particular focus on the national level;

ii.                  the distribution of NEPAD’s thematic areas among certain countries and institutions. CSOs with competence in the relevant thematic areas as well as those in the designated countries must be supported in this process;

iii.                The Peer review Mechanism should provide the foundation for an effective CSO M & E system, through

·        Building the capacity of CSOs on the Peer Review Mechanism

·        The involvement of CSOs in the NEPAD Peer Review Mechanism

·        Recognition of CSO participation in the NEPAD process as an element of the Peer review Mechanism.

To download the full list of participants at the workshop held June 17-18, 2002

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Ethiopian CSOs/NGOs in the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) initiative

(April 2002)


I. Preamble

The Christian Relief and Development Association (CRDA) has taken the initiative to begin a process of familiarizing and consulting with Civil Society Organizations in Ethiopia to enhance understanding and make contributions to enrich the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

The Ethiopian CSOs/NGOS welcome NEPAD as a positive initiative of African leaders to enable Africa to become a respected player in the 21st century global system.  CSOs/NGOs also recognize opportunities presented by the political commitment of African leaders demonstrated by the development of NEPAD and are optimistic of practical support of the international community since NEPAD will be discussed at the upcoming G8 meetings in Canada in June.  This is a new set of circumstances than what existed for numerous previous initiatives and declarations. However, CSOs believe that there has not been sufficient involvement or consultation in the NEPAD formulation process.  CSOs/NGOs are confident that they could enrich NEPAD as they have a comparative advantage of working with local communities and other stakeholders and, therefore, CRDA, as a broadly recognized representative of CSOs/NGOs in Ethiopia, has taken the initiative to begin this consultation process.

CRDA in collaboration with the Africa Office of Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) organized an initial two-day familiarization and consultation workshop which drew about 140 participants from NGOs/CSOs and the private sector.

The brief outcome of the workshop is summarized here below.

 II. Issues and Concerns

III.  Recommendations

  IV.  The Way Forward

    CSOs/NGOs will work to:

V.  Conclusion

It should be underlined that NEPAD is welcomed by CSOs/NGOs but issues and concerns raised are critical and there is a pressing need to give adequate space for participation/involvement of all stakeholders.  Without this involvement NEPAD will fail.  If involvement is encouraged, there is enthusiasm, readiness and commitment on the side of CSOs/NGOs to contribute for further enrichment of the NEPAD as well as to involve in developing mechanisms for its implementation.

Following enriching of the NEPAD document and making the process more participatory and inclusive, the CSOs/NGOs encourage all stakeholders to join the partnership to ensure NEPAD does not become another unachievable dream because of lack of funds.  CSOs/NGOs are committed to be active players in internal and external resource mobilization for NEPAD implementation and call for all friends of Africa to support the initiative and make it a reality for the better future of this rich and diverse continent.


To download the full document of the proceeding of the workshop held in April 2002

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