Obasanjo charges on NEPAD-AU integration

Banjul- The Gambia (PANA) -- Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo Friday expressed the hope that the proposed integration of NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa's Development) into the African Union would "protect and retain the ability of both to perform in unison".
Obasanjo spoke at the opening of a meeting of NEPAD's Head of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC) in Banjul, the Gambia, ahead of the 7th AU summit in the Gambian capital this weekend.
"The new arrangement must (also) continue to transform the African development paradigm," said the Nigerian leader, who chairs the committee.
Obasanjo also announced that Senegal had offered to host the planned "brainstorming session" on NEPAD, but said no date had been fixed for the session.
He said Friday's meeting should be able to agree on the date and other details of the brainstorming session, aimed at assessing the effectiveness of NEPAD, which was set up to help fast-track the social and economic transformation of Africa.
There has been a growing criticism of the programme, especially by one of its founding fathers, Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, who called it a failure.
The HSGIC meeting is also being attended by Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Wade and AU Chairman Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of Congo, among others.

30 june 2006 12:43:00

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