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Tuesday, 17 September, 2002, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
Nations applaud Africa's recovery plan
President Olesugun Obasanjo meets UN Kofi Annan
Olesugun Obasanjo (left) vowed to be accountable
African leaders have expressed renewed determination successfully to implement their home-grown plan for economic recovery.

"We stand in front of the peoples of the world to pledge that we'll honour the commitment we have made - that we'll act firmly to extricate Africa out of her long night of misery," South Africa's president Thabo Mbeki told the United Nation's general assembly.


Africa's future will be determined by Africans

Kofi Annan
UN general secretary
And Nigeria's president, Olusegun Obasanjo, vowed to be accountable to his people, setting "very high standards".

In return, world leaders praised the recovery plan, known as Nepad, and vowed to stand with Africa in its struggle to overcome poverty.

The Nepad plan aims to attract more foreign investment by rooting out corruption and ending internal conflicts.

The United Nations general assembly debated Nepad all day on Monday, in a special session devoted to Africa.

Self help

While Africa is seeking increased foreign investment, world leaders were keen to stress that it must work out its own solutions.

"Development must begin at home with the sound economic and political governance at all levels necessary to attract capital and to use it well," US Secretary of State Colin Powell told the assembly.

Nepad founding countries
Algeria
Egypt
Nigeria
Senegal
South Africa
"Africa's future will be determined by Africans," said the UN's General Secretary, Kofi Annan.

The Nepad plan aims to win yearly investments of $64bn (41bn) for Africa, enabling annual economic growth of 7%.

And the UN has set a goal of halving the number of Africans living in poverty by 2015.

When Nepad was unveiled in July, Africa had already suffered a significant decline in prosperity and dwindling foreign investment.

Corruption fears

Development aid to Africa has been falling, with rich countries becoming increasingly fearful that investments are being mismanaged by incompetent or corrupt leaders.

The Nepad plan is based largely on ideas drawn up separately by Mr Mbeki, Mr Obasanjo and Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade.

Ten African heads of state were amongst the representatives of 80 nations thrashing out the key issues surrounding the effective implementation of Nepad.

See also:

16 Sep 02 | Business
05 Jun 02 | Business
25 Mar 02 | Business
06 Feb 02 | Business
19 Mar 02 | Business
08 Feb 02 | Africa
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