Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - After extensive consultations with the various sectors of the African civil society and the Diaspora over the last four months, the African Union Commission (AUC) is finalising the draft continental agenda on the Africa they want by 2063, the Commission has reported.
A progress report on the Development of the African Union Agenda 2063 will be formally presented at the 22nd Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly that opened here Thursday for discussion and further guidance towards its completion before the next session, to be held mid-2014.
The AU Executive Council this week perused the draft document which has been worked out by the AUC in collaboration with the NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency, the African Development Bank and the UN Economic Commission for Africa.
According to the AUC, stakeholder consultations, from September to December 2013, provided participants “the forum to share their vision of the Africa they want in 2063 and propose goals, milestones, key drivers and enablers as well as priority actions.”
The Commission undertook the task by convening meetings with the private sector, African academics/think tanks, planning experts and development specialists, civil society organisations, Diaspora, regional economic communities and AU organs, youth, media, women and web-based interactive consultations.
In the meantime, reviews of national plans, regional and continental frameworks are underway with a view to facilitating integration of national, regional and continental priorities into Agenda 2063.
The picture that has so far emerged from these consultations, according to the progress report, is that Africans aspire for a prosperous continent based on inclusive growth and sustainable development, moving from current low to middle and high income status.
Among other wishes, the public want to see “a transformed continent where economic growth is translated into equitable wealth and employment creation, guided by sustainable development policies and practices.”
On continental integration, the common aspiration was of a politically-united region based on the ideals of pan-Africanism and where the AU is seen not as a Union of heads of state, but as a Union of African citizens.
Stakeholders identified a number of critical drivers/factors for Africa’s transformation, including strong political leadership that is fully committed to development, democratic rule, equity, justice and rule of law.
However, the consultations pointed out key risks and threats to an integrated and united continent such as social and economic inequalities, management of diversities, terrorism and organised crime, religious extremism, ethnicism, corruption and nepotism as well as environmental degradation.
According to the report, a draft communication strategy has been prepared in order to make the development of Agenda 2063 and its implementation exercise effective.
The strategy entails maintenance of public awareness and media presence at events as part of the conceptualisation process of the principal agenda.
At this summit, the Commission is urging AU member states to study the draft framework document and provide their inputs by mid-April 2014.
Besides, the AUC intends to make further consultation with relevant stakeholders in developing the communication strategy that accompanies Agenda 2063, with a view to submitting the final draft to the next AU summit.