NEPAD is designed to address the current challenges facing the African continent. Issues, such as escalating poverty levels, underdevelopment and the continued marginalization of Africa, needed a new radical intervention, spearheaded by African leaders, to develop a new vision that would guarantee African renewal.
NEPAD’s four primary objectives are:
- To eradicate poverty,
- Promote sustainable growth and development,
- Integrate Africa in the world economy, and
- Accelerate the empowerment of women.
NEPAD provides unique opportunities for African countries to take full control of their development agenda, to work more closely together, and to cooperate more effectively with international partners.
NEPAD manages a number of programmes and projects in six theme areas. These themes are:
- Agriculture and Food Security.
- Climate Change and National Resource Management.
- Regional Integration and Infrastructure.
- Human Development.
- Economic and Corporate Governance.
- Cross-cutting Issues, including Gender, Capacity Development and ICT.
NEPAD KENYA PARTICIPATION
In Kenya, implementation of the NEPAD initiative was institutionalized through a Presidential Executive Order in 2002, which established a National SteeringCommittee (NSC) to spearhead Kenya’s participation in the NEPAD process. The Mandate of the NSC is:
- To intensify Kenya’s participation in the activities of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) at all appropriate levels;
- To oversee regional projects that have a direct link with national priorities;
- To co-ordinate priority projects identified in the Poverty Reduction Strategy paper (now Vision 2030) and NEPAD;
- To oversee the implementation of Kenya’s national development goals in relation to NEPAD priorities;
- To market the NEPAD initiative among the business community in Kenya and
- To give direction to the National Secretariat which shall be responsible for implementing the decisions of the National Steering Committee.
Subsequently, in 2003, the NEPAD Kenya Secretariat was established as a semi-autonomous agency in the then Ministry of Planning and National Development (now Ministry of Devolution and Planning) to serve as an operational coordinating secretariat for the implementation of the NEPAD priority programmes and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). In addition, at the 2nd Eastern Africa Region Heads of State and Government Summit on NEPAD held in Nairobi in October 2003, Kenya was given a mandate to be the Regional Coordinator of NEPAD activities in Eastern Africa as an interim measure.