tjir_v1n4bed01 - NEPAD and Its Achilles Heels Dorina A....

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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.4, Winter 2002 232 NEPAD and Its Achilles Heels Dorina A. Bekoe* Each passing year reinforces Africa’s grim statistics of a continent in which many states are overtaken by poverty and conflict. In 2001, to cite just one statistic, 72 percent of the countries in Africa (39 of 54) were classified as low income – meaning that gross national income was below $745 annually. 1 Equally dismal, conflict and instability in all the sub-regions continue to spread refugees. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees reports 6.3 million refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced people, returnees and other vulnerable groups, out of a total of 22.3 million globally, existed in Africa in 1999. 2 Against this background, African heads of states proposed and adopted the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to provide solutions to stem Africa’s continuing economic and political devastation. With NEPAD, African heads of state promise adherence to tenets of good political and economic governance to engender Africa’s development. Essential to the NEPAD plan, and in return for compliance with democratic and free market norms, is the restructuring of the partnership between Africa and the developed world, particularly the Group of Eight industrialized counties (G8). While these objectives have also been conditions for financial assistance between African and donor agencies in the past - such as in Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP) and the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) - NEPAD seems to distinguish itself from past plans devised to solve Africa’s development problems in three ways. Firstly, it demonstrates political
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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.4, Winter 2002 233 will on behalf of African leaders: rather than coming from the international community, the NEPAD initiative came from African heads of state themselves. Secondly, NEPAD has garnered the sustained attention of decision-makers in the G8: four African heads of state presented NEPAD and secured the interest of the G8 at the G8 summit in Kananaskis, Canada, in July 2002. Finally, and perhaps most noteworthy, some African states have agreed that they will monitor each other to ensure good governance, sound economic policy, and social investment through an African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). This article evaluates whether these features suffice to enable NEPAD to achieve its goals and surmount the expected obstacles to reform, unlike the development schemes that preceded it. In part, this article reviews development and democratization efforts in the past - drawing on the literature on policy reform generally, and in Africa specifically, to highlight the problems and opportunities policy reform initiatives have encountered. In addition, I provide insights to the incentives African states have for complying with stated initiatives. Three preliminary conclusions emerge from this article: First, while political will
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course POLS 494 taught by Professor Garymoncrief during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.

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tjir_v1n4bed01 - NEPAD and Its Achilles Heels Dorina A....

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