NEPAD has been heralded as a new dawn for Africa - the first time in history that Africa’s leaders have
collectively taken responsibility for the continent’s development. But there is much scepticism.
Observers have been asking, what is so different about NEPAD? Why should the AU succeed where the
OAU failed? And what is the difference between the two anyway?
The commitment of African leaders has also been questioned. Commentators argue that many African
leaders do not seem to care about their own people, let alone those from other countries. Previous failed
attempts at sub-regional cooperation are cited as reasons why something more ambitious has no chance
Others doubt the commitment to accountability, with the fear that African leaders will not exercise the
peer pressure that is critical to NEPAD’s success. The self-interest fuelling the conflict in the DRC is
frequently cited as the way things truly work on our continent.
But are these indictments fair?
Is NEPAD truly different? What are its chances of success? What are the keys to its success? What
obstacles must be overcome? And what are the dividends we can expect if it works?
We asked more than 250 CEOs from East Africa for their views and in this report we present our findings.
We received comments from 239 respondents in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, through face-to-face
interviews conducted by an independent research company. CEOs were selected at random from a list of
the top organisations in each sector of the economy including publicly listed companies, state owned
enterprises, major subsidiaries of MNCs and large private companies.
But before we hear what the CEOs had to say, what actually is NEPAD? What are its goals? And how do
our continent’s leaders plan to achieve them?