Africa Report: Assessing the New Partnership

In This Review

Africa Report: Assessing the New Partnership

By Roy Culpeper (Editor)
North-South Institute, 2003
135 pp. $14.00
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The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) is an ambitious initiative launched two years ago by South African President Thabo Mbeki and several other African heads of state who hope to attract increased Western aid by promoting continent-wide political and economic reform. These six expert conference papers offer a helpful survey of NEPAD's strengths and weaknesses, stressing the improvements needed in donor and recipient policies. Four chapters tiptoe around the broad issue of foreign aid in Africa, while a fifth addresses the controversial relationship between debt relief and poverty reduction. The concluding contribution, a gloves-off look at NEPAD's prospects, praises its intentions but judges it unlikely to achieve any short-term successes given Africa's entrenched problems: corruption, overly powerful presidents, and the reluctance of most governments to consult with nongovernmental organizations or spend money on poverty alleviation.