TICAD III urges donors to respect, trust African partnership

Tokyo- Japan (PANA) -- Emphasising the concepts of 'ownership' and 'partnership', the 3rd Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD III) ended here Wednesday with a call for donors to respect and trust development options taken by the continent.
"Africa should determine and own with self-confidence and self- esteem the direction it will take in pursuit of self-sufficient and sustainable development," the conference stressed in what was adopted as the 10th Anniversary Declaration.
"The international community, at the same time respecting and trusting Africa's ownership should deliver timely and substantial assistance to help Africa make the best use of its own resources," the Declaration urged.
It called for the enhancement of current initiatives to promote market access and fair trade with a view to helping African countries "gain a meaningful foothold in the global market place," adding, "it is also necessary to increase Official Development Assistance and promote foreign direct investment.
" The three-day conference welcomed the adoption by the international community of NEPAD (the New Partnership for Africa's Development, as the framework for pursuing the continent's development efforts.
It said such recognition was critical to the development process in Africa, and that TICAD and NEPAD would now embark on a new challenge to realise Africa's dream of making the 21st Century its own.
The Anniversary Declaration said that far from simply a series of conferences, the TICAD process has "contributed toward maintaining the focus of the international community on African development during periods when global attention to Africa was about to be diverted to other regions.
" It said the process had "significantly contributed to raising awareness of the challenges facing Africa," noting further that the 10th anniversary comes "at a time when the circumstances for African development are more favourable than ever, both within Africa and externally.
" The declaration regretted, however, that there was little or no progress in advancing the Doha Development Agenda at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial conference in Cancun, adding, "the creation of an equitable international trade system remains a major challenge to the development of Africa.
" Still, it said TICAD has "facilitated the synchronisation of Africa's efforts and the commitment of its development partners" as well as "contributed to enhancing ownership and partnership to develop genuine solidarity" with the continent.
TICAD III also cited areas needing emphasis in the development process in Africa, notably inclusive leadership in which the people, as primary beneficiaries of development, "share the spirit of NEPAD and actively participate in the development process through democratic governance.
" Though noting improved peace and security in some parts of Africa, the conference said "it still remains critically important that Africans consolidate such peace and put an end to remaining conflicts in order that States can devote all their capacity and resources to economic growth and sustainable development.
" It also stressed the need to address the root causes of conflicts and to promote economic and social reconstruction based on good governance, "which entails democratisation and the adoption of appropriate macro-economic policies.

01 octobre 2003 10:45:00

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