Nepad summit aims to take Africa into the future

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) summit takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre from March 3 to 5.

The summit will focus on promoting regional integration on the continent at a time when the need for such initiatives is more pressing than ever.

The event will see the coming together for the first time of a wide range of African business leaders from trade, investment and economic development organisations.

An initiative of the Gauteng Economic Development Agency (Geda) and the Gauteng government, the summit will also be attended by African government representatives and observers from International Economic Development agencies.

Discussions at the event aim to culminate in the establishment of the first-ever African Economic Development Agencies Secretariat Office. This office aims to not only enhance African trade and investment opportunities, but also promote foreign direct investment into Africa on a scale not previously seen on the continent.

Nepad’s rationale is short and simple: it is a development plan that aims to promote sustainable self-development. It seeks to liberate Africa from its history of underdevelopment, poverty, war and corruption.

It is the first Nepad summit at sub-national level, following various national events, and aims to take the Nepad agenda forward towards practical implementation and sharing of opportunities.

The summit will focus on, among other things, infrastructure, energy, ICT, agro-processing, mining and mining equipment, planning and coordination.

To overcome the backlog of underdevelopment in Africa, Nepad calculates and builds a plan around achieving an annual growth rate of 7 % for the next 15 years and securing financing of $64-billion per year to accomplish its development goals. African countries are offered various incentives to get them to endorse and comply with Nepad’s objectives and principles.

The summit is designed with an overarching goal in mind: to ensure that Africa capitalises on investment and trade opportunities that currently present themselves across the continent.—Cape Media Corporation

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