Senegal's President Macky Sal has been elected Chairperson of the Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC), the twenty strong body of African leaders that provides leadership and policy guidance to the New Partnership for Africa's Development.
President Sal replaces the late Prime Minister Meles who chaired HSGOC for four years. Egypt's Prime Minister Mohammed Mossi and President Bouteflika of Algeria have been elected Vice Chairpersons of the HSGOC. Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mauritania and Libya have joined the group.
The Committee meets twice a year on the fringes of the Assembly of the African Union and sets the priorities and programmes of NEPAD. Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam who urged AU member states to reduce their dependency on foreign aid for the implementation of infrastructure development projects, said Meles had viewed NEPAD as a model for management of Africa's relations with the international community.
President Yayi of Benin said Africa needed to scale up implementation of NEPAD priorities including agriculture and infrastructure, and speed up domestic resource mobilization to encourage less dependence on western funding. NEPAD's Chief Executive Officer Dr Mayaki said it was time to give new impetus to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the mechanisms for domestic resource mobilisation for NEPAD programmes.
To help sustaion momentum, NEPAD has now launched the Africa Rural Development Forum as a platform for knowledge sharing on policies of rural transformation. CAADP is a key vehicle to diversify economies and ensure food security; it can also stimulate access to finance, inputs and markets for smallholder farmers.