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Top UN Officials Commend African Development Partnership

         Date: 2012-01-13

           Tag: African Development, African Development Partnership

Summary: Senior UN officials including UN General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser commended on Friday the African initiative created to enhance the continent' s economic growth, development and…

Senior UN officials including UN General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser commended on Friday the African initiative created to enhance the continent' s economic growth, development and participation in the global economy.

At an event titled "NEPAD and Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs): Progress, Challenges and the Way Forward", Al-Nasser, president of the 66th session of the 193-member General Assembly, said the initiative has contributed significantly towards the socio-economic progress made over the past decade.

AFRICA: A GROWTH POLE

"Africa has been the home of six out of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world," Al-Nasser said at a high-level event hosted by the General Assembly here to mark the 10th anniversary of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

"Africa is a growth pole and is increasingly attracting foreign direct investment. Social indicators, such as those for education and health, have significantly improved," Al-Nasser said, adding NEPAD's priorities -- poverty eradication, sustainable growth, the empowerment of women -- echo those of the United Nations Millennium Declaration.

The NEPAD initiative of the African Union (AU) was adopted in 2001, with leaders of the continent pledging to pursue new priorities and approaches for the political and socio-economic transformation of Africa. The program is intended to accelerate Africans'efforts to extricate the continent from underdevelopment and exclusion from the global economy.

Al-Nasser said NEPAD's African peer review mechanism had helped improve good governance and rule of law, thus creating an atmosphere conducive to sustainable and broad-based economic growth.

"While strengthening partnership with NEPAD, it is also important to look beyond aid. We must emphasize the need for a productive global partnership which includes mutually beneficial trade and investment relationships, as well as the protection of the global climate," he said.

"The 10th anniversary of NEPAD is an opportunity to renew the genuine partnership between African Member States and development partners. This partnership should capitalize and build upon achievements to date," he said.

Also at the event, UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro noted that NEPAD "broke new ground" by highlighting "Africa should own the African development process."

"Thanks to the efforts of hard-working Africans and the support of development partners, these past 10 years have seen remarkable economic progress," she said, adding that the average economic growth from 2002 to last year was an impressive 5.5 percent on the continent.

"All of these positive signs are translating into gains for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the African people," she said, referring to a set of eight anti-poverty targets to be reached by 2015. "Governments scaled up investments in education, health, agriculture, and food security."

However, Migiro said what has been achieved is not sufficient to lift large numbers of Africans out of poverty.

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