Windhoek: President Hifikepunye Pohamba says the current situation where 90 per cent of the African Union’s programmes budget is funded by development partners is not sustainable. He says the dependence of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) programme on voluntary contributions by member states and partners is equally untenable.
The President made these remarks during the AU Summit of Heads of State and Governments Orientation Committee in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,on Saturday while speaking on ‘Policy Review - Domestic Resources for Nepad Implementation.’
“We recognise that our development partners have made substantial pledges in support for Nepad projects over the years. However, only a few of these pledges have been honoured,” Pohamba said.
He then called on African leaders to reassess and look more creatively at how best AU member states can mobilise domestic resources for the implementation of Nepad projects.
“To help us move forward in the mobilisation of domestic resources, we may direct the Nepad Agency to conduct a study and report to the summit of Nepad Heads of State and Governments Orientation Committee on the available options,” Pohamba stated. “We may further consider convening an extraordinary summit to consider these options and to agree on those that are viable and most practical for implementation,” he further suggested.
One of the scenarios for mobilising domestic resources could be the consideration of various options such as broadening the tax base in the respective countries, developing domestic financial and capital markets, encouraging contractual savings and improving access to capital for small and medium enterprises, which form the backbone of many economies, he explained.
The Namibian Head of State also encouraged the development of networks that link businesses and academic institutions in order to create the necessary synergy for the development of appropriate technologies.
“After ten years of the existence of Nepad and the African Union, we need to demonstrate, in concrete and tangible ways, our commitment to the development of our continent by producing tangible results through the implementation of the projects that we have identified,” he stated.
* A Nampa article