New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)

His Excellency Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa (centre), is addressing the 33rd Session of NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee, Johannesburg (South Africa), June 2015, with Dr. Mayaki, NEPAD Agency CEO, and Dr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, to his left. Photo credit: AU

What is the NEPAD?

The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) External link is a socio-economic development flagship programme of the African Union (AU), adopted by African leaders at the 37th Summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) held in Lusaka, Zambia, in July 2001.

NEPAD is thus a vision and framework that facilitates and coordinates the development of continent-wide programmes and projects, mobilizes resources, engages the global community, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and AU Member States in the implementation of these programmes and projects.


NEPAD's overall mission is to address the critical challenges of poverty, development and Africa’s marginalization internationally. Its four primary objectives are to:

  • Eradicate poverty,
  • Promote sustainable growth and development,
  • Foster integration of Africa in the world economy, and
  • Accelerate the empowerment of women.

NEPAD Agency

In 2010, the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency) replaced the NEPAD Secretariat which had coordinated the implementation of NEPAD programmes and projects since 2001. This came after the transformation and integration of the Agency into the structures of the African Union Commission (AUC) in 2010 by the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the AU.

The strategic direction of the NEPAD Agency is divided into six themes:

  • Agriculture and food security
  • Climate change and natural resource management
  • Regional integration and infrastructure
  • Human development
  • Economic and corporate governance
  • Cross-cutting issues – gender, ICT, capacity development and communications

Each of these thematic areas has been developed into full-fledged flagship programmes, including, among others:

The NEPAD and the UN

A high-level panel discussion was held at UN headquarters on 13 October 2014 on the theme, “The Africa We Want: Support of the United Nations system to the African Union’s Agenda 2063”. The event was co-organized by the Office of the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA), the Office of the Permanent Observer of the African Union to the UN, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) and the African Peer Review Mechanism Secretariat (APRM). UN Photo/Kim HaughtonSam Kutesa, Maged Abdelaziz, Jan Eliasson, Ibrahim Mayaki

Following the final review and appraisal of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s, the General Assembly, by its resolution 57/7 PDF, brought to a close the New Agenda, and endorsed the NEPAD as the framework for the provision of international support to Africa’s development.

In its resolution 57/300 PDF, the General Assembly endorsed the creation of the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA), with a mandate to coordinate the preparation of critical reports on Africa and undertake global advocacy in support of NEPAD, among others.

The importance of UN support to NEPAD was reaffirmed in the outcome document of the special event to follow up efforts made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, convened by the President of the 68th session of the General Assembly.

OSAA's Role

In accordance with its mandate, OSAA is the focal point on NEPAD in the United Nations. In this capacity, the Office plays a leading role in efforts for the enhancement of United Nations System and international support for Africa's development, peace and security, in particular for the implementation of NEPAD. Through its policy and analytical work and convening powers, the Office has:

  • Worked to raise awareness of Africa’s special development challenges and progress in implementing its commitments, and
  • Advocated for enhanced international support to complement national and regional efforts, and
  • Forged partnerships with private sector and civil society organizations, including African Diaspora and academia, and leveraged their resources to advocate for Africa.

OSAA also participates in such important regional meetings as:

  • The African Union Summit,
  • the NEPAD Steering Committee meeting,
  • NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee meeting,
  • The Africa Peer Review Panel Forum,
  • The joint African Union Commission/United Nations Economic Commision for Africa Annual Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development
  • and other important, global meetings, to promote African priorities, engage important stakeholders, and advocate and mobilize increased support for Africa’s development.

In the fulfillment of its mandate, working closely with the NEPAD Agency, OSAA:

OSAA also convenes in New York, the Interdepartmental Task Force on African Affairs (IDTFA) to improve coherence and coordination of UN System support for the implementation of NEPAD and its sectoral priorities.

Within the auspices of the United Nations Monitoring Mechanism, OSAA monitors and reports on commitments made to Africa's peace, security and development, including NEPAD and its various flagship programmes and initiatives.

In addition, OSAA collaborates with the Department of Public Information and the Regional Coordination Mechanism (RCM) to conduct global advocacy in support of NEPAD.

Working with the “Africa investor” group, the Office has sought to raise the Continent’s profile as an investment destination through the organization of the annual Africa Investor Institutional Investment Summit in New York on the margins of the high-level segment of the General Assembly.


Logo of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)
  • Adopted by African Heads of State and Government of the Organisation of African Unity in 2001
  • Ratified by the African Union in 2002

Main objectives:

  • reduce poverty
  • put Africa on a sustainable development path
  • halt the marginalization of Africa, and
  • empower women

More about NEPAD External link >>

The Assembly [of the African Union] [...] reaffirms NEPAD as the strategic vehicle to accelerate the implementation of the Africa Union's regional integration agenda and re-commits to exercising strong political will and determination to fast-track NEPAD delivery at all levels within the context of Agenda 2063;

-- Assembly/AU/Dec.579(XXV) PDF

In Focus


Trains at a station

The 51 Programmes for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) programmes and projects being implemented are expected to lead to an integrated continent, fuelling international trade, job creation and sustainable economic growth.


Tractors in a field

Because agriculture has the potential to lift more people out of poverty than any other sector in Africa, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), a policy framework for agricultural transformation, wealth creation, food security and nutrition, economic growth and prosperity for all, is a key programme of NEPAD.

Science and Technology

Dr. Segenet Kelemu, Ph.D

Photo: L'Oréal Foundation/Julian Dufort

Improving access to and the quality of science and technology across Africa is a key part of improving human resource development. Science and technology offer a multitude of benefits for the continent. NEPAD, through its Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action, works to increase innovation, encourage partnerships, facilitate knowledge sharing and improve the volume and quality of research and development.

Strategic Partnership

The Partnership between the United Nations and the African Union on Africa’s Integration and Development Agenda (PAIDA) outlines seven main principles that should guide the UN-AU cooperation, including a renewed strategic partnership with the NEPAD Agency. Learn more about PAIDA >>

UN System Folder

OSAA coordinates the preparation of the United Nations System Support for the NEPAD reports, gathering inputs from a large number of entities of the UN System. You can access all input received, called collesctively the UN System Folder, from this website.


  • Current Chief Executive Officer:
    NEPAD's chief executive officer Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki (Niger): since 2009
  • Professor Firmino Mucavele (Mozambique): 2005 - 2008
  • Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu (South Africa): 2000 - 2005