The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and Potential Prospects for the Sudan

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Hassan E., El -Talib
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The New Partnership for Africa\\\\\\\'s Development (NEPAD) was first coined in 2001 by a cartel of three African presidents, namely, President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, as well as Abdul Aziz Boutafliqa of the Republic of Algiers. The core theme and central issue of NEPAD is socio-economic. It is considered as the official socio-economic program of the African Union (AU) which 2nd Summit of the Head of State and Government of its member states, on 2003 at Maputo, Republic of Mozambique, endorsed with consensus. NEPAD is looked at by many in Africa and beyond, as the final chance for the African continent to uphold itself economically socially and politically. The AU socio-economic program calls for deep sub-regional and regional integration through the activation of the role of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in the continent, where nine of them are currently active in issues of economic and social development, as well as conflict resolution initiatives. NEPAD, through its new code of conduct on governance, transparency and accountability, which has been embodied in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), has added more new important pillar to the continental building of structural governance. This voluntary body finds the interest and support of the international community as commitment from the African rulers in recognition of the cooperation perceived by the international donor community. The research further argues that the Republic of the Sudan has a great potential to benefit from its partnership in NEPAD economically, politically and socially. This benefit will accrue to Sudan by actively joining the NEPAD institutions and meet the set requirements thereof, in particular the accession to the APRM. The country\\\\\\\'s potential as one of the largest in the continent in area (2.5 million square kilometers), its young and vivid population of approximately 35 million and the natural resources it is endowed with; such as arable land, water, mineral resources and petroleum, will support its importance and centrality to the regional integration. By playing an active role through RECs, the Sudan is achieving one major step towards the African solidarity and continental unity, which is an essential step towards the gradual attainment of the wider continental partnership in the terms of reference of NEPAD. The peaceful resolution of conflict in the Southern part of the country, with the Sudan Peoples\\\\\\\' Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), which officially took place in Nairobi, Kenya, on 9 January 2005; and the expected comprehensive resolution to the conflict of Darfur between the government of the Sudan (GOS) from one part and the rebel movements objecting to Abuja Agreement with the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), on the other, opens a wider window of opportunity for the Sudan to integrate fully in the international system. The symbolic gestures the international community has shown to Sudan by holding the special session of the UN Security Council in Nairobi, Kenya on 18-19 November 2004 is encouraging. Likewise, the celebrity tone with which the international community has met the final signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement is duly indicative. Further, the Sudan system of governance is perceived, the research argues, to be conducive to economic development as its awaited transformation to a full democratic multi-party system, where rule of law and respect of human rights can be sustainable through active participation in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). Further more, the Sudan, as the research argues, is going to benefit from the continental projects supported and sponsored by NEPAD\\\\\\\'s infrastructure sector such as the greater Dinga Electric Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Cape-to-Cairo Road (both railway and land transport road) and the Peace and Security Council (PSC). The involvement of the Sudan in the regional integration communities will benefit the country significantly, the research argues. The research also, argues that NEPAD can present a new Africa to the international community, which for the first time since it is known in the contemporary recorded history, can speak in one voice. This new tendency will draw the new role Africa is expected to play in the third millennium and the era of globalization and the great electronic internet village. Almost signals of the oneness of the AU voice are underway at the UN Security Council, the Commission on Human Rights, the IMF & World Bank, as well as the meetings of the Group of Eight, the G8. More important for the NEPAD to face the challenges ahead, are to strengthen its solidarity with other regional organizations worldwide. This has been lately manifested in the form of Group 20 (G20) of the developing countries before the conferences of the WTO. Another wider form, which assists the continent in its struggle with other countries of the North, is the newly formed Group 90 (G90), which has shown greater solidarity at the WTO Ministerial Conference for the ministers of trade and commerce of 149 countries at Hong Kong in December 2005
New Partnership ,Africa’s Development (NEPAD),Potential Prospects, Sudan