The legitimacy and sustainability of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) depends on the extent to which the African people and civil society are involved in the process of implementing NEPAD programmes and activities. Recognizing this imperative, African governments have made a strong commitment to work in partnership with civil society and other partners in NEPAD-related activities. Civil society can engage in NEPAD related processes at the national, regional and international levels.
At the national level, African civil societies have been engaged in formulating poverty reduction strategies and are now expected to be significantly involved in monitoring progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). At the regional level, civil society has been engaged at the African Union (AU) level and in conflict prevention and peace-building efforts.
At the international level, civil society works with northern counterparts lobbying and advocating on behalf of Africa in such areas as debt relief, increased official development assistance, and increased market access for African exports. The United Nations is also increasingly providing an international platform and forum for facilitating the type of government and civil society interaction which would be of benefit to the countries of the region.
Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) supports the work of civil society organizations in Africa through the publication of a number of reports highlighting their contributions to addressing threats to peace and security and development in Africa. OSAA is also working to make African civil society organizations more accessible through the annual publication of an NGO directory.