Addis Ababa, 29 January 2014
This morning at the 22nd Ordinary Assembly of the African Union, President Kagame began with the 30th Meeting of NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee. The meeting main discussion centered around addressing the challenges faced by Africa to finance its infrastructure projects.
As the ICT Champion within NEPAD-PCI initiative, President Kagame presented a report on the progress in this sector including the recent Transform Africa Summit held in Kigali and attended by heads of States from Burkina Faso, Gabon, Kenya, Mali, Uganda, and South Sudan. The summit held in October 2013 resulted in the Smart Africa Manifesto which calls for African leaders to ensure information and communication technology play a central role in socio-economic transformation, improve access to ICT and promote the role of the private sector in ICT.
The NEPAD meeting was followed by the African Peer Review Mechanism meeting during which South Africa, Mozambique and Benin presented their individual countries reports on key priorities areas including education, health, economy and infrastructure. The mechanism established in 2003 by the African Union serves as a framework for implementation for NEPAD.
Minister Mushikiwabo described the goal of the APRM as a group of nations working to hold each other accountable, learn from each other and face common challenges together.
President Kagame ended the first day with bilateral meetings with former President of Ghana, John Kufuor and Hilde Johnson, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in South Sudan and head of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the South Sudan.
The second day of the Heads of State summit will begin with an opening session followed by a closed discussion session during which leaders will discuss issues including peace and security in the region, agriculture and the post 2015 MDG goals. The African Union has declared 2014 the Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa.