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General News Mon, 2 Jul 2007

NEPAD on "death bed" in Accra

Wade flays NEPAD, resigns but rescinds move

Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade Sunday vehemently criticised the New Partnership for Africa’s Economic Development (NEPAD) programme, describing the project are unclear, and demanded it be clarified, a source at the heads of states ordinary session retreat in Accra told APA.

“I resigned from the move but at the behest of president Kufuor, I have changed my mind,” Wade said.

“But do understand that I am frustrated by all the unfulfilled pledges of monies, and western countries are unrightfully blamed. I agree that we meet the soonest possible to rethink NEPAD and set it on simpler grounds,” he added.

“I don’t mean to be the one to blame for the disappearance of the NEPAD…”, Wade told an applauding audience.

“Please stop applauding, we are not in a popular rally. This is a heads of states meeting,” moderator Menes Zenawi of Ethiopia warned.

Resuming, Wade said: “I can even agree to NEPAD being turned into an AU institution instead of a single programme, but be aware that there is absolute need to evaluate NEPAD prior to raising it to an agency”.

The Senegalese leader underscored the “absolute necessity to clarify this (NEPAD) affair”, recommending that a summit-level meeting “extended only to the five forerunners” and exclusively devoted to clarifying the first years of NEPAD’s existence be held “shortly”.

If there is no clarification “my withdrawal from the group of NEPAD-steering countries will be still looming”.

NEPAD has not even laid a bit of road, Wade lamented, stressing the “need and urgency to reset the project”.

NEPAD resulted from a blending of the Millennium African Plan (MAP) by erstwhile Nigerian president Olusegun Obansanjo and his South African counterpart Thabo Mbecki, and President Abdoulayed Wade’s Omega Plan.

Source: APA
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