NEPAD@20 Symposium: Building “The Africa We Want”, 28 January 2021

January 27, 2021
  • When: 28th January 2021,10h00-16h00 (GMT+2)
  • How to Join: Click here to register.
  • Programme: Download from here.

The African Union Development Agency-NEPAD a Symposium on 28th January 2021,10h00-16h00 (GMT+2). The high-level occasion will reflect on NEPAD’s implementation over the last 20 years and the capacities needed to support the African Union’s continental development agency. The virtual event will feature roundtable discussions with current and former African Heads of State, stakeholders and partners.


The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) was established as a socio-economic flagship programme of the African Union (AU), adopted by African leaders at the 37th Summit of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) held in Lusaka, Zambia, in July 2001. NEPAD was designed to place Africa firmly on a progressive developmental trajectory leading to accelerated socio-economic development. The NEPAD programme had four primary objectives: to eradicate poverty; promote sustainable growth and development; integrate Africa in the world economy; and accelerate the empowerment of women. The implementation of NEPAD resulted in concrete positive development results in several socio-economic domains.

At the turn of the first decade of the millennium, the narrative of “Africa rising” gained momentum. However, shortly after these gains, the global economy started to experience slow growth, attributed to factors such as China’s slackened economic growth rate and the plummeting of prices for primary commodities globally. The uncertainties in the global economic environment saw many developed economies looking inwards to strengthen their respective financial systems. Subsequently, these occurrences lowered Africa’s growth trends and forecasts, thereby challenging the narrative of the continent’s resurgence. These development issues, amongst others, placed a demand on stakeholders to re-think their development priorities and strategies. In this context, Agenda 2063 was adopted by AU Member States as Africa’s development blueprint over a 50-year period. The First Ten Year Implementation Plan, running from 2013 to 2023, draws heavily from the experiences in the implementation of the NEPAD programme. In 2018, NEPAD transformed from the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency into the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) with the main aim to improve operational efficiency of the AU and move the continent closer to Africa’s new long-term vision – Agenda 2063.

The Report of President Paul Kagame on the institutional reforms of the AU presented to the Summit, proposed a number of recommendations. The report clearly articulated major strategic issues that the AU needs to address to deliver the promises of the Founding Fathers. Five mutually inclusive strategies were recommended by President Kagame’s report to address these issues: 1) Focus on selected Continental Priorities; 2. Realign AU institutions to implement selected priorities; 3. Manage AU effectively and efficiently at all levels; 4. Finance AU sustainably through African states funding; and 5. Connect with Africans.

At the 31st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of African Union Heads of State and Government in Nouakchott, Mauritania, July-2018, a decision was officially adopted to transform the NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency (NPCA) into the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD). The establishment of AUDA-NEPAD is part of the overall institutional reforms of the AU to deliver against the development priorities articulated by the Union. AUDA-NEPAD is an African-owned and led continental agency, spearheading Agenda 2063. The decision on the African Union Development Agency is an affirmation by Member States of their commitment to own an instrument that will champion development support to countries and regional bodies in advancing their priorities through the implementation of Agenda 2063. The Agency’s mandate is to: 1. To coordinate and execute priority regional and continental projects to promote regional integration towards the accelerated realisation of Agenda 2063; 2. To strengthen capacity of African Union Member States and regional bodies; 3. To advance knowledge-based advisory support; 4. To undertake the full range of resource mobilisation, and 5. To serve as the continent’s technical interface with all Africa’s development stakeholders and development partners.

Almost two decades on, there is a need to reflect on the successes, achievements and challenges in the implementation of NEPAD and examine the relevance and future of the first continental development agency. It is against this background that AUDA-NEPAD is organising a high-level symposium and dialogue to assess NEPAD implementation over the past 20 years and the capacities needed to support the implementation of the first continental development agency, AUDA-NEPAD.

Objectives of the Symposium

  • Examine the achievements and challenges of NEPAD since its inception in 2001;
  • Serve as a platform for high-level policy debate and discourse among prominent African scholars and thought leaders on the past two decades and provide forward-looking guidance to the first continental development agency;
  • Facilitate coalition building and leverage partnerships through a cross-section of African stakeholders and strategic partners in support of AUDA-NEPAD’s new mandate.
Visit the AUDA-NEPAD website for more information about the speakers.