'Africa Renewal' for a changing Africa
Beginning with this issue, Africa Renewal is the new name for the magazine long known as Africa Recovery. The change comes at a time of profound transformations in Africa -- and in the way the United Nations and the rest of the international community relate to the continent.
After decades of stagnation and malaise, a new determination is emerging to move Africa forward. Most countries now have democratically elected governments. A stronger regional organization, the African Union, is being built, to provide a more effective means for resolving armed conflicts, integrating African economies and promoting Africa's interests globally.
African leaders have devised a forward-looking plan, the New Partnership for Africa's Development, which sets out an ambitious "agenda for renewal." NEPAD recognizes that progress will come not only through increasing the continent's growth rates -- "recovery" in the language of the economists -- but also through advancing human development in its broadest sense. Through NEPAD, Africa's leaders are aiming to harness the enormous potential and talents of their people and chart a course towards continental rejuvenation. On the basis of that vision, the New Partnership has been embraced by the United Nations and other international actors as the framework for their solidarity and assistance.
From its inception in 1987, Africa Recovery magazine, published by the UN's Department of Public Information, focused on tracking and analyzing the efforts of Africans and their external partners to revive economic growth and promote human development. Unlike international media outlets that focus mainly on tales of war, famine and disease, the magazine has sought to convey the richer, more complex reality of Africa today. It has noted the continent's many daunting problems. But it also has highlighted Africans' heroic efforts to overcome adversity and the tangible successes they have achieved so far.
In the spirit of partnership exemplified by NEPAD, these aspects of the magazine's mission remain as relevant as ever. By now changing its name toAfrica Renewal, the publication seeks to identify itself more squarely with Africa's new dynamic of initiative and rebirth. Without losing sight of the difficulties that continue to trouble Africa, it will reflect a continent on the move, with leaders more open to defining and addressing the priority needs of their people -- and with more conscious and organized civil societies intent on making sure that happens. As NEPAD emphasizes, Africans are increasingly determined to "shape their own destiny," while welcoming partnership with the international community. Africa Renewal will serve as a tribune for discussion of their endeavours.
Communications and Public Information
Special Adviser on Africa