New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)

NEPAD was initiated by five African Heads of State (from Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa) at the request of the African Union (AU). It was developed by merging two plans for Africa’s economic development: the Millennium Partnership for the African Recovery Programme (MAP) and the OMEGA Plan for Africa.
In July 2001, the African Union adopted the newly created NEPAD framework for action at the group’s 37th summit. The ultimate goal of NEPAD is to ensure that Africa and the almost 900 million people who live there take their rightful place on the world stage. The NEPAD Strategic Framework is laid out in its Strategic Framework Document.

Objectives and approach

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development is a coherent, strategic and long-term programme of action has been prepared to promote Africa's sustainable development. NEPAD emphasises measures that will ensure that the continent is able to confront its short-term economic growth challenges without losing sight of its long-term goals including environmental protection. It is about processes, projects and related activities that are aimed at enlarging Africa's economic prospects through sustained environmental management.

Institutional structure

The NEPAD governance structures are:

  • The Assembly of the African Union (AU). The African Union (formerly called the Organization of African Unity) originally developed the NEPAD concept and is its highest authority ;
  • The NEPAD Heads of State & Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC). The HSGIC provides leadership to the NEPAD process, sets policies, priorities and the programmes of action ;
  • The NEPAD Steering Committee (SC). The NEPAD Steering Committee is primarily responsible for developing the terms of reference for identified programmes and projects, and for overseeing the work and programmatic activities of the NEPAD Secretariat ; and
  • The NEPAD Secretariat. The NEPAD Secretariat is responsible for coordinating the preparation of NEPAD projects and programmes, mobilising technical and financial support, facilitating and supporting implementation, providing information, promoting the programme in Africa and internationally, liaising with development partners, mobilising private sector participation, representing the programme at development fora, and monitoring and reporting on progress.
Work areas

NEPAD’s programme covers the following priority sectors and crosscutting issues as identified in the environment initiative of NEPAD. These include wetlands, invasive species and marine and coastal resources. It provides for prevention and control of invasive alien species and implementation of African best practices on wetland conservation, where social and ecological benefits are derived. Furthermore, it has a plan of action that builds upon the related issues of pollution, forests and plant genetic resources, wetlands, invasive alien species, coastal and marine resources, capacity building and technology transfer.