US embassy cable - 02PRETORIA506

THE NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR AFRICA'S DEVELOPMENT (NEPAD): MOVING FORWARD

Identifier: 02PRETORIA506
Wikileaks: View 02PRETORIA506 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Pretoria
Created: 2002-01-28 13:47:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: ECON EFIN EAID PREL SF CA
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
P 281347Z JAN 02
FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3594
INFO ALL AFRICAN DIPLOMATIC POSTS
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PRETORIA 000506 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR AF FRONT OFFICE AND AF/S 
LONDON FOR GURNEY; PARIS FOR WILLIAMS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/28/2012 
TAGS: ECON, EFIN, EAID, PREL, SF, CA 
SUBJECT: THE NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR AFRICA'S DEVELOPMENT 
(NEPAD):  MOVING FORWARD 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: ECONOMIC M/C ROBERT F. GODEC, REASONS 1.5 (B) AND (D) 
 
1. (C)  SUMMARY:  ECONOFF MET JANUARY 24 WITH DAVID 
MALCOLMSON, DFA NEPAD COORDINATOR, TO REVIEW RECENT 
DEVELOPMENTS IN THE EVOLUTION OF THE NEPAD PROGRAM.  AT THE 
JANUARY 24-27 CONFERENCE IN BENONI, SOUTH AFRICA AIMED TO 
MOVE BEYOND SLOGANS TO FORGE AGREEMENT ON CONCRETE PLANS AND 
NATIONAL COMMITMENTS TO PUSH NEPAD FORWARD.  THE FIVE 
PRIORITY AREAS APPROVED BY THE NEPAD HEADS OF STATE 
IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE LAST OCTOBER WILL BE THE CONTEXT IN 
WHICH THIS EFFORT WILL PROCEED.  THE GOAL IS TO REACH 
AGREEMENT ON A PROGRAM THAT CAN BE PRESENTED TO THE G8 SUMMIT 
IN CANADA NEXT JUNE AND TO THE INITIAL AFRICAN UNION (AU) 
SUMMIT NEXT JULY IN DURBAN.  SOUTH AFRICA HAS EMBARKED ON A 
PROGRAM TO ENLIST SUPPORT FOR NEPAD FROM BUSINESS AND OTHER 
ELEMENTS OF CIVIL SOCIETY.  PRESIDENT MBEKI ADDRESSED THE 
BENONI CONFERENCE AND ENCOURAGED AFRICANS TO BECOME 
"PROACTIVE IMPLEMENTERS OF OUR OWN SUSTAINED DEVELOPMENT." 
END SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (U) ECONOFF MET JANUARY 24 WITH DAVID MALCOLMSON, DFA 
NEPAD COORDINATOR, TO REVIEW RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE NEPAD 
PROCESS, INCLUDING GOALS FOR THE WORK-IN-PROGRESS REVIEW 
WORKSHOP HELD JANUARY 24-27 IN BENONI, SOUTH AFRICA.  HE 
DESCRIBED THE BENONI CONFERENCE AS THE BEGINNING OF THE 
"SECOND PHASE" OF THE NEPAD DEVELOPMENT PROCESS.  MALCOLMSON 
UNDERSCORED THE NEED TO MOVE AHEAD TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF 
MECHANISMS AND PROGRAMS THAT WILL TRANSLATE NOW "THEORETICAL" 
ISSUES OF GOVERNANCE, ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT AND SELF-RELIANCE 
INTO CONCRETE PLANS AND COMMITMENTS.  ONLY AGREEMENT BY 
PARTICIPATING AFRICAN COUNTRIES ON A CREDIBLE PROGRAM OF 
ACTION WILL DEFLECT CRITICISM THAT THE NEPAD PROCESS HAS BEEN 
OVERLY AMBITIOUS IN ITS AIMS. 
 
3.  (U) THE HEADS OF STATE IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE MEETING 
LAST OCTOBER 23 APPROVED A MANDATE FOCUSING ON FIVE PRIORITY 
AREAS FOR NEPAD: 1) PEACE AND SECURITY, 2) ECONOMIC AND 
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE, 3) BANKING AND FINANCIAL STANDARDS, 4) 
INFRASTRUCTURE AND 5) MARKET ACCESS AND AGRICULTURE.  IN 
ADDITION, HEADS OF STATE APPROVED THE CREATION OF A CONFLICT 
PREVENTION AND RESOLUTION SUBCOMMITTEE, TO BE CHAIRED BY 
PRESIDENT MBEKI.  THE GOAL OF THE BENONI WORKSHOP IS TO 
ARTICULATE AN OUTLINE AND DETAILED CONTENT FOR A NEPAD 
PROGRAM OF ACTION THAT CAN BE PRESENTED TO THE G8 SUMMIT IN 
CANADA NEXT JUNE AND TO THE AFRICAN UNION (AU) SUMMIT IN 
DURBAN NEXT JULY.  THE WORKSHOP WILL ALSO DISCUSS HOW NEPAD, 
AS THE AGREED-UPON OVERALL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK FOR AFRICA, 
CAN ENHANCE AFRICAN PARTICIPATION IN THE FINANCING FOR 
DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE IN MEXICO AND AT THE WORLD SUMMIT ON 
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN JOHANNESBURG. 
 
4.  (C) MALCOLMSON SAID THE CURRENT NEPAD MANAGEMENT 
STRUCTURES (THE IMPLEMENTATION AND STEERING COMMITTEES AS 
WELL AS THE SECRETARIAT) ARE LIKELY TO ENDURE FOR SOME TIME 
AFTER THE AFRICAN UNION COMES INTO BEING AT THE JULY SUMMIT. 
HE AGREED THAT THE AU WILL LIKELY BE CONSUMED, AT LEAST OVER 
THE SHORT-TERM, WITH THE DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF ITS OWN 
POLITICAL ARCHITECTURE.  THE SUBSTANCE OF COORDINATING, 
MONITORING AND DRIVING THE NEPAD PROCESS WILL HAVE TO REMAIN 
IN THE HANDS OF THE CURRENT DEDICATED MECHANISMS.  HE NOTED 
AS WELL THAT THE OLD OAU TRADITION OF CONSENSUS SEEKING WOULD 
DO LITTLE TO PROVIDE THE FORCEFUL IMPETUS THAT NEPAD NEEDS. 
HE ALSO CONCEDED THAT THERE ARE SOME OAU (AND FUTURE AU) 
MEMBERS THAT THE CURRENT NEPAD GOVERNMENTS WOULD LIKE TO SEE 
REMAIN ON THE SIDELINES.  HE CITED THE PEER REVIEW MECHANISM 
IN NEPAD AS A SIGNIFICANT DEPARTURE FROM THE WAY THE OAU HAS 
DONE BUSINESS IN THE PAST, I.E. TAKING PAINS TO AVOID EVEN 
THE APPEARANCE OF INFRINGING UPON THE SOVEREIGNTY OF MEMBER 
STATES.  NEPAD, FOR THOSE STATES WHO DECIDE TO PARTICIPATE, 
WILL BE MUCH MORE INTERVENTIONIST IN CHARACTER. 
 
5.  (C) MALCOLMSON TOOK NOTE OF CRITICISM THAT THE CREATION 
OF NEPAD HAS BEEN A TOP-DOWN, TECHNOCRATIC PROCESS WITHOUT 
MUCH INPUT FROM CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE EARLY DEBATES ON THE 
PROGRAM'S STRUCTURE.  THIS IN SPITE OF THE DOCUMENT ITSELF, 
WHICH NOTES THAT "THE AGENDA IS BASED ON NATIONAL AND 
REGIONAL PRIORITIES AND DEVELOPMENT PLANS THAT MUST BE 
PREPARED THROUGH PARTICIPATIVE PROCESSES INVOLVING THE 
PEOPLE."  SOME CRITICS HAVE UNDERSCORED THAT THE DEBATE 
AROUND GOVERNANCE STANDARDS WILL HAVE TO BE WIDENED WITH MORE 
"BUY IN" BY AFFECTED GROUPS, LEST THE ENTIRE PROJECT "START 
AND END AND FAIL WITH LEADERSHIP."  MALCOLMSON AGREED THAT 
THIS HAS BEEN A "POLITICALLY DRIVEN PROCESS" FROM THE OUTSET 
(MOSTLY OUT OF NECESSITY IN ORDER TO GET IT STARTED), BUT 
ADDED THAT SOUTH AFRICA HAS INSTITUTED A MARKETING AND 
COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY AIMED AT BRINGING BUSINESS, CIVIL 
SOCIETY AND OTHERS INTO THE PICTURE.  THIS OUTREACH EFFORT 
INCLUDES THE BENONI CONFERENCE, TO WHICH A VARIETY OF 
NON-GOVERNMENT GROUPS WERE INVITED. 
 
6.  (U) IN HIS REMARKS TO THE BENONI MEETING, PRESIDENT MBEKI 
ENCOURAGED AFRICANS TO BE "AGENTS FOR CHANGE" AND TO "TAKE 
OWNERSHIP" OF THEIR FUTURES.  HE ASSERTED THAT THE WORK 
CARRIED OUT BY AFRICAN HEADS OF STATE IN PROMOTING THE NEPAD 
AGENDA "HAS SUCCEEDED IN GENERATING HOPE AND CONFIDENCE IN 
THE FUTURE OF OUR CONTINENT AND IN ATTAINING ACCEPTANCE OF 
NEPAD AS A POLICY FRAMEWORK INFORMING THE WAY THEY VIEW 
AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT."  HE WELCOMED THE PARTICIPATION IN THE 
CONFERENCE BY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT 
BANK, THE DEVELOPMENT BANK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA, THE ECONOMIC 
COMMISSION FOR AFRICA AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS AS WELL.  HE 
ENCOURAGED THE CONFEREES TO WORK OUT "CONCRETE IMPLEMENTABLE 
PLANS" THAT WILL DEMONSTRATE THAT AFRICANS ARE BEING 
"PROACTIVE IMPLEMENTERS OF OUR OWN SUSTAINED DEVELOPMENT." 
 
7.  (C) COMMENT: MALCOLMSON WAS CANDID ABOUT SOME OF THE 
DIFFICULTIES THAT SOUTH AFRICA, AS ONE OF NEPAD'S "FOUNDING 
STATES," HAS HAD IN BRINGING THIS PROGRAM TO ITS PRESENT 
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT.  OUTSIZED EGOS AND OBSTRUCTIONIST 
BEHAVIOR FROM SOME COUNTRIES HAVE REQUIRED A SUSTAINED AND 
DETERMINED POLITICAL-LEVEL PUSH IN ORDER TO KEEP NEPAD ON 
TRACK.  HE CONCEDED THAT NEPAD'S CREDIBILITY (AND VIABILITY) 
WILL DEPEND ON PRESENTING A SOLID AND DOABLE PROGRAM TO G8 
COUNTRIES.  THE CAPE TOWN MEETING OF G8 PERSONAL 
REPRESENTATIVES IN FEBRUARY WILL BE AN IMPORTANT INDICATOR OF 
WHETHER THE BENONI CONFERENCE SUCCEEDED IN MOVING THE NEPAD 
PROCESS BEYOND PLATITUDES TO A PROGRAM THAT WILL ATTRACT 
SUPPORT FROM WESTERN GOVERNMENTS. 
 
 
 
HUME 

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