The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), October 2001

Sectors : Employment and Training, Industry, Science, research and technology general, Agricultural and biotechnology, Agricultural investment and production, Disaster risk reduction and reconstruction, Environmental degradation and natural resource management, Financial Institutions, markets, services and microfinance, Sustainable development, Food security, Water and Sanitation
Organisation : AU
Date made: 
Heads Of State
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Commitments in: Private Sector development and financial services for the poor - Industry

“158. Objectives
- To increase the production and improve the competitiveness and diversification of the domestic private sector, especially in the agro-industrial, mining and manufacturing subsectors, with potential for exports and employment creation;

- To establish organisations on national standards in African countries;

- To harmonise the technical regulatory frameworks of African countries.

159. Actions
At the African level:

- Develop new industries or upgrade existing ones, where African countries have comparative advantages, including agro-based industries, energy and mineral resource-based industries;

- Acquire membership of the relevant international standards organizations...

...- Establish national measurement institutions to ensure harmonisation with the international metrology system. Such activities will always remain the responsibility of government;

- Ensure that testing laboratories and certification organisations are set up to support the relevant national technical regulations. Where they do not exist, such organisations should be established as soon as possible;

- Establish an accreditation infrastructure, such as the International Standards Organisation (ISO) system, which is acceptable internationally. Such an accreditation infrastructure can be nationally based where the industry is strong enough to maintain it, otherwise regional structures should be contemplated. Appropriate funding to ensure membership of international structures such as the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) should be made available;

- Pursue mutual recognition of test and certification results with Africa’s major trading partners. Generally, this will only be possible if the framework for standards, technical regulations, measurement, tractability and accreditation are in place and can be shown to meet international requirements.

At the international level:

- Facilitate partnership through the development of mechanisms, such as joint business councils, for information-sharing between non-African and African firms and for working towards the establishment of joint ventures and subcontracting arrangements;

- Assist in strengthening African training institutions for industrial development, particularly through the promotion of networking with international partners;

- Promote the transfer of new and appropriate technologies to African countries;

- Develop and accept a best-practice framework for technical regulations that meet both the requirements of the World Trade Organisation.s (WTO) Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and the needs of Africa. The technical regulation frameworks of the developed countries may be too complex for many African countries;

- Establish standards bureaux, which would provide the industry and government with the necessary information on international, regional and national standards, thereby facilitating market access. These centres should be linked to the relevant international, regional and national standards information centres so that the latter can act as the national WTO/TBT enquiry points;

Ensure the development of appropriate regional and national standards through the establishment of appropriate technical committee structures representing the stakeholders of the countries, as well as managing such committees in line with ISO/IEC directives and WTO/TBT requirements.”


Commitments in: Agriculture - Agricultural investment and production

154. Objectives
- To improve the productivity of agriculture, with particular attention to small-scale and women farmers;

- To ensure food security for all people and increase the access of the poor to adequate food and nutrition;

- To promote measures against natural resource degradation and encourage production methods that are environmentally sustainable;

- To integrate the rural poor into the market economy and provide them with better access to export markets;

- To develop Africa into a net exporter of agricultural products;

- To become a strategic player in the development of agricultural science and technology.

155. Actions
At the African level:

- Increase the security of water supply for agriculture by establishing small-scale irrigation facilities, improving local water management, and increasing the exchange of information and technical know-how with the international community;

- Improve land tenure security under traditional and modern forms of tenure, and promote the necessary land reform;

Foster regional, subregional, national and household food security through the development and management of increased production, transport, storage and marketing of food crops, livestock and fisheries. Particular attention must also be given to the needs of the poor, as well as the establishment of early warning systems to monitor droughts and crop production;

- Enhance agricultural credit and financing schemes, and improve access to credit by small-scale and women farmers;

- Reduce the heavy urban bias of public spending in Africa by transferring resources from urban to rural activities.

At the international level:

- Develop new partnership schemes to address donor fatigue for individual, high-profile agricultural projects;…

...- Promote access to international markets by improving the quality of African produce and agricultural products, particularly processed products, to meet the standards required by those markets;

- Support African networking with external partners in the areas of agricultural technology and know-how, extension services and rural infrastructure;

- Support investment in research in the areas of high-yield crops and durable preservation and storage methods;

- Provide support for building national and regional capacity for multilateral trade negotiations, including food sanitation and other agricultural trade regulations.”


Commitments in: Other

“142. Objectives
- To promote cross-border cooperation and connectivity by utilising the knowledge currently available in existing centres of excellence on the continent;

- To develop and adapt information collection and analysis capacity to support productive as well as export activities;

- To generate a critical mass of technological expertise in targeted areas that offer high growth potential, especially in biotechnology and natural sciences;

- To assimilate and adapt existing technologies to diversify manufacturing production.

“143. Actions
- Establish regional cooperation on product standards development and dissemination, and on geographic information systems (GIS);

- Develop networks among existing centres of excellence, especially through theInternet, for cross-border staff exchanges and training programmes, and develop schemes to assist displaced African scientists and researchers;

- Work with UNESCO, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and other international organisations to harness biotechnology in order to develop Africa’s rich biodiversity and indigenous knowledge base by improving agricultural productivity and developing pharmaceutical products;

- Expand geoscience research to enhance the exploitation of the mineral wealth of the African continent;

Establish and develop skills-based product engineering and quality control to support diversification in manufacturing.”