Africa: African Development Forum III, 02/19/02

Africa: African Development Forum III, 02/19/02

Africa: African Development Forum III Date distributed (ymd): 020219 Document reposted by Africa Action

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Region: Continent-Wide Issue Areas: +political/rights+ +economy/development+


The Economic Commission for Africa is convening its third African Development Forum, from March 3-8, 2002, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The theme is Defining Priorities for Regional Integration. This posting contains brief excerpts from the planned programme. Additional information, and some background documents, are available on-line on the ECA website at: has a special ADF page including background documents, commentaries, and opportunities for readers to contribute to debates, in both English and French. Initial commentators include Akwasi Aidoo, John Githongo, Julius Nyang'oro, Jabulani Sikhakhane, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The page is at:

The first day of the forum is dedicated to a special symposium on the African Union. Three short issue papers prepared for this symposium are available for downloading (in PDF or Word formats) on the ECA site. They are also available for viewing on the web at

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African Development Forum III - Defining Priorities for Regional Integration

Narrative Programme

[Excerpts only: for full programme go to:]


The imperative of accelerated African regional economic integration is reflected in:

* The move towards transforming the Organization of African Unity (OAU) into the African Union (AU); and

* Such leading initiatives for economic development as the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

The third African Development Forum (ADF III) builds upon its established track record of cutting-edge debate and wide stakeholder participation. It is a critical coming together of representatives of African governments, the private sector, technical experts, international organizations and other stakeholders, to seek consensus and ownership of regional integration.

The African Union

African Heads of State have committed themselves to establishment of the AU. The AU has ambitious structures that will require considerable skill and capacity to function effectively. A carefully phased and prioritized process will enable these institutions and structures to be set up incrementally and to maximum effect. ADF III will:

* Bring together vital stakeholders and experts;

* Broaden substantive inputs into the process of establishing the AU; and

* Widen African ownership of the process.

This forum will provide the OAU with a unique opportunity to discuss the challenges of moving towards the African Union and regional economic integration, benefit from expert analyses and obtain input from key stakeholders. Up to now, the AU process has been government-driven. It is necessarily a sovereign process, but experience from other parts of the world indicates that success depends on broadening ownership of the process, so as to engage all concerned fully. Public dialogue on formation of the AU was initiated at the June 2001 OAU meeting for civil society organizations (CSOs), during presentations and a question-and-answer session led by the former OAU Secretary-General and senior staff members. At Syrte in 2000, and subsequently at the 2001 Lusaka Summit, Africa's Heads of State and Government agreed that broader consultation was necessary. ADF III is designed to tap such broadened and deepened consultation on regional integration.

ADF III takes place in the middle of the period of transition of the OAU to the AU. The Constitutive Act of the AU invites parliamentarians, CSOs and others to take on a pivotal role in the architecture of the Union. ADF III will be a crucial opportunity to examine how best to promote the components of the AU process. It will provide the AU with the opportunity for reflection and for incorporation of inputs from a range of participants, with the aim of making the process an inclusive one.

Regional Integration and Economic Development

There is a powerful Africa-wide consensus on the prerequisites for economic development and poverty reduction. One component of this consensus is good governance for building a capable and effective State, with political representation of all social groups, effective institutions, good macroeconomic management and corporate governance. ECA's concept of `enhanced partnership' envisages a compact between African governments and their peoples. Leaders undertake to provide good governance, and to manage the affairs of the State fairly and effectively in pursuit of development. Good governance also enables high-quality development partnerships for poverty reduction, and facilitates private sector investment and economic growth.

A second key component is regional economic integration, to overcome the handicaps imposed by small and fragmented national markets, to obtain economies of scale in key infrastructural developments, and to maximize the efficient use of capital and labour in the context of globalization.

Africa's major development initiatives, such as NEPAD, include regional cooperation and integration as a central component. Economic integration is vital if Africa is to optimize the use of its resources and attract inward investment. At Abuja in 1980, African governments committed themselves to move towards a common market, and the need to implement those commitments has never been greater.

The success of development partnership initiatives and regional integration and poverty reduction strategies depend on the full engagement of a wider range of stakeholders, including the private sector and civil society. ADF III is a tremendous opportunity for stakeholders and experts to provide inputs into Africa's strategies for economic development, with a special focus on regional issues.

African leaders today are determined to chart a new political and economic course for the continent. There is consensus on the pivotal role that regional political and economic integration can play in this regard. ADF III provides an exceptional and well-timed opportunity for the AU and emergent development partnership initiatives to engage with a wide array of stakeholders.

Annotated Agenda

African Union Symposium

Issues to be examined

Issues for discussion at the Symposium are grouped into three areas, namely, economic integration, peace and security, and institutional architecture and capacities.

1. Economic integration. How can the AU accelerate economic and political integration? How will the envisaged AU structure facilitate integration? How does it relate to the 1980 Abuja Treaty and other economic initiatives at regional and subregional levels? How will the AU relate to the private sector, both African and international? What is its relevance to key civil society concerns such as democracy, citizenship and human rights?

2. Peace, security, humanitarianism and human rights. How will the AU be linked to existing peace, security and conflict-management systems? How is the Conference on Stability, Security, Development and Cooperation in Africa (CSSDCA) envisaged as a conflict management mechanism within the framework of the AU? Given that there is no single comprehensive peace and security system, will the AU bring coherence to the existing subregional peace and security or will ad hoc management remain the order of the day? Can transitional arrangements harmonize initiatives until a new comprehensive peace and security system develops, based on African experience and international responsibilities? How will measures and mechanisms for approving and implementing humanitarian interventions be established and coordinated subregionally? How will the regional peace and security agenda be linked to the UN Security Council and other international initiatives? In light of the human rights provisions in the Constitutive Act of the AU, what monitoring and enforcement mechanisms can be established? How will the AU seek to position Africa with respect to shifting global security concerns, especially since the 11 September 2001 crisis?

3. Institutional architecture and capacity. Given the background of weak linkages in the past between the OAU and subregional organizations (SROs) such as Southern African Development Community (SADC), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), East African Cooperation (EAC), Inter- Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD), Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) etc., how is the AU process rectifying this weakness? What kind of structural relationships are envisaged to integrate SROs and regional economic communities (RECs) into the AU? How does the AU model specifically reflect African experiences and aspirations? How are people to be engaged, sensitized and activated in the process of building the Union? What is the timing and sequencing of the establishment of the institutions? What are the resource requirements for the AU Commission and other institutions? Where will the resources come from? If they are to be primarily membership dues, will AU suffer from chronic lack of resources, as has been the case with OAU's funding record? What kind of technical assistance is needed in building the envisaged African institutions? What are the human resource requirements for the AU? How will it seek to leverage a collaborative and meaningful association with relevant research institutes, foundations, CSOs, universities, and other independent institutions? What interface does the AU anticipate with the UN?

ADF III Opening Session

Chair: K.Y. Amoako, Executive Secretary, ECA

Speakers: Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister, Ethiopia Amara Essy, Secretary-General, OAU Omar Kabbaj, President, African Development Bank (ADB) Wole Soyinka, African writer and intellectual, Nobel Laureate

Plenary Session 2: The History and Prospects for Regional Integration

Chair: Prof. Abdoulaye Bathily, Vice-President National Assembly (Senegal)

Presenter: Adebayo Adedeji, former Executive Secretary, ECA

Discussant: Emmanuel Mushega, Secretary-General of East African Cooperation

Plenary Session 3: Assessing Economic Integration in Africa: Launching the ARIA

Chair: Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, Executive Secretary, Global Coalition for Africa -GCA

Presentation: Launch of the first Annual Report on Integration in Africa (ARIA), ECA Regional Cooperation and Integration Division (RCID)

Discussants: Jean Louis Sarbib Vice President, Middle-East & North Africa Region, The World Bank

Plenary Session 4: Integration in Other Regions: Lessons for the AU

Chair: Z,ph,rin Diabre, Associate Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Presenters: Bernard Petit European Union representative Inter-American Development Bank representative

Plenary Session 5: Physical Integration through Infrastructural Development

Chair: Egyptian Minister of Transport, Chair of Transport Ministers Conference

Presenters: Cyril Enweze, Vice President, ADB Alan Gelb,Chief Economist and Director, TheWorld Bank

Discussants: Kenneth Button,George Mason University Alhaji Bamanga Mohamed Tukur, leading African entrepreneur

Plenary Session 6: Economic Policies for Accelerating Regional Integration

Chair: Linah K.Mohohlo, Central Bank Governor, Botswana

Presenter: Konan Banny, Banque Centrale des _tats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (BCEAO)

Discussant: Delphin Rwegasira.,Excutive Director African Economic Research Consortioum

Plenary Session 7: Peace and Security Architecture

Chair: Kamel Morjane, Assistant High Commissioner, UNHCR

Presenter: Salim Ahmed Salim, former Secretary-General, OAU

Discussants: Lansana Kouyate, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Ibrahim Gambari, UN Assistant Secretary-General

Plenary Session 8: Building an Effective African Union

Chair: Simba Makoni, Minister of Finance, Zimbabwe

Presenter: Said Djinnit, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, OAU

Discussants: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Senior Advisor, Modern Africa Fund Managers Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, General Secretary, Pan-African Movement

Plenary Session 9: Heads of State Presentations

Chair: Amara Essy, Secretary-General, OAU

Presenters: Heads of State and Government

This session will be an opportunity for the invited Heads of State and Government to present their vision and plans for regional economic and political integration.

Parallel Closed Session: Priorities for Implementation

Co-chairs: Lalla Ben Barka, Deputy Executive Secretary, ECA

Said Djinnit, Assistant Secretary-General, OAU

This will be a closed session in which selected representatives of the Focus Groups, regional organizations, RECs, selected governments and experts will discuss the key findings from the Forum, and prepare and approve a final declaration for ADF III. This session will be conducted in parallel with plenary session 9.

Plenary Session 10: Heads of State Forum

Chair/moderator: K.Y. Amoako, Executive Secretary, ECA

Panels: Heads of State and Government

Representatives of seven stakeholder Focus Groups

Closing Session: The Way Forward

Co-chairs: K.Y. Amoako, Executive Secretary, ECA Amara Essy, Secretary-General, OAU

The final session will consist of a presentation of the final Declaration and Plan of Action from ADF III, and discussion of recommendations for the June 2002 Summit to inaugurate the African Union in Pretoria South Africa.

Stakeholder Focus Groups

Focus Groups have a more integrated role in ADF III than in the previous forums. Each Focus Group will convene a breakout session to present itself, its analysis and aims, and to receive inputs from other conference participants and experts. This is designed to maximize their interaction with the main conference and to ensure the best possible output.

Each Focus Group will be tasked with preparing its recommendations for presentation in plenary session 10 (the Heads of State Forum). This will take the form of a written statement that can be tabled and specific questions in the Heads of State Forum.

List of Focus Groups

The following Focus Groups will convene during ADF III:

1. Private sector

This is a stakeholder group of businessmen, including both Africans and non-Africans who invest in Africa. This group will identify the private sector's priorities for regional integration, and evaluate current efforts against these priorities.

Convenor: Africa Business Roundtable

2. Civil society

This is a stakeholder group drawn from a wide range of CSOs concerned with development issues, including poverty reduction, social service provision, human rights, etc. It will identify the role to be played by civil society in promoting and influencing regional integration.

Convenor: Jalal Abdel Latif, InterAfrica Group.

3. Youth

Young people are stakeholders in the future. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) will help convene a group of African youth to participate and make their voices heard in ADF III. The group will advocate the interests of young people.

Convenor: Nankali Maksoud, UNICEF.

4. Parliamentarians

This stakeholder group of elected representatives will be drawn from across Africa. It will focus on the future development of a Pan-African Parliament, the relationships between democratization and regional integration and how the two can be utilized to strengthen one another.

Convenor: Ibrahim Fall, Inter-African Parliamentary Union.

5. Information and communications technologies (ICTs)

This is a stakeholder/expert group formed by Partnership for Information and Communication Technologies in Africa, i.e. the existing working group on ICTs. This group will examine and promote the role of ICTs in all aspects of regional integration.

Convenor: Karima Bounemra, Development Information Services Division (DSID) - ECA.


This is a group of stakeholders that comprises persons living with HIV/AIDS and persons engaged in HIV/AIDS programmes and activities, and experts concerned with HIV/AIDS. It will seek to ensure that response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic remains at the forefront of the development and integration agenda.

Convenor: Ugandan PLWA

7. Human rights and the law

The protection and realization of human rights is one of the fundamentals for achieving development, democracy and stability. Africa faces the challenge of cementing its regional human rights mechanism. This includes encouraging more governments to sign and ratify human rights conventions and to establish mechanisms for ensuring conformity to the requirements. As Africa heads towards integration, national legislation should be in conformity with international standards of human rights, and national judicial procedures should be consonant with the procedures of regional and international bodies. Special attention needs to be paid to the African Commission on Human and People's Rights and to the proposed African Court on Human and People's Rights. Are existing procedures adequate for protecting citizens' rights? What extra capacity do national and regional bodies need? How should African institutions fit in with their international counterparts? Or should the priority be realization of human rights at the local and national level?


Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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