THE New Partnership for African’s Development (NEPAD) has unveiled its plan to undertake infrastructural projects that would promote economic development in Nigeria and other African countries.
According to the Chairman, NEPAD Business Group Nigeria, Mr. Goodie Ibru, the group has already identified 21 infrastructural projects that would promote economic integration and support the development of trade in Africa.Speaking at a capacity building retreat yesterday in Lagos, Ibru said that that apart from infrastructure, the African continent still suffered from lack of adequate skill for economic development.He said that NEPAD’s aim was to promote regional economic integration by bridging Africa’s infrastructure gap. “There can be no meaningful development without trade and there can be no trade without adequate and reliable infrastructure,” he said.He, therefore, called for Africans in Diaspora to assist in developing skills. Ibru explained that the capacity building retreat was aimed to galvanise the private sector to implement NEPAD programmes and projects.He said that the retreat was a buildup to the other programmes to be organised by the group in 2011 and beyond.He added: “We have two other programmes later this year, which include the Peers Mentoring Programme (PMP) scheduled for July 2011 and is aimed at empowering the informal sector to uplift the low income earners out of poverty through provision of capital and mass employment of mentors and mentees.”In October 2011, we shall be organising the first AU-NEPAD week and first Nobel Laureates and NEPAD Founding Fathers Annual Summit, which will ensure the continuous involvement of the NEPAD Founding Fathers yearly summit, which will ensure the continuous involvement of the NEPAD Founding Fathers in its implementation and enable good understanding of the tenets of NEPAD.”He described NEPAD as an integrated development framework to enhance growth and reduce poverty in Africa by addressing key social, economic and political priorities in a coherent and balanced manner.”It is a vision for Africa conceived and developed by African leaders. It is a framework for new partnerships with the rest of the world to accelerate the integration of Africa into the global economy,” he added.Speaking also at the event, President, African Business Roundtable and Chairman of NEPAD Business Group, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, called on African governments to be fully engaged in the development of the continent by initiating policies that are favourable to economic development.He also insisted that there was the need for government to take infrastructure development as a priority in the continent’s bid to become one of the 20 world leading economies.He said: “We expect every public sector in Africa to come together for the development of the continent.”