African Unification Front



Cotonou, 9 October 2002
(Adopted in plenary session)


The objective of NEPAD is to consolidate democracy and sound economic management in the continent. African decision makers hereby undertake to on behalf of African peoples and the rest of the world to work in concert to rebuild the continent. They promise to promote peace and stability, democracy, sound economic management and development focusing on human beings and undertaking to be mutually responsible pursuant to the agreement contained in the program.

The New Partnership for African Development will succeed only if Africans are united in their diversity and are in full support of it.

'>Paragraph 202 - 52 of the NEPAD program adopted in Abuja Nigeria, October 2001.

We the MEMBERS OF African Parliaments, meeting at Cotonou, have decided to recommend to our parliaments, the creation of a permanent Forum of African Parliamentarians for NEPAD, on the basis of the Forum that met in Cotonou, October 8-9, 2002.

Pending ratification by our Parliaments, we wish to establish ourselves as the Forum pro tem and we resolve as follows:

It is with understanding that, when the Pan-African Parliament envisaged in the constitutive Act of the African Union is convened, the PAP, will consider its own structures, including how best to process matters relating to NEPAD.

Aware that sub-Saharan Africa accounts for only 1.7% of world trade, receives less than 1% of world private investments flow

33 of the least developed countries (LDCs) out of 49 in the world are in Africa; the 27 poorest countries of the planet and with the lowest human development index are in Africa South of the Sahara;

According to UNDP's 2002 World Human Development Report, in all sub-Saharan Africa, all countries except South Africa account for more than 10% of children suffering from malnutrition. In six African countries, the percentage is more than 40%;

Africa is the only continent in the world where widespread poverty and adult illiteracy (nearly 60%) was on the rise in the nineties instead of dropping, and where the enrollment and immunization rates of children (below 50%) have dropped. Out of 300 million diagnosed malaria cases per annum, 270 million are found in Africa;

Since 1990, life expectancy has fallen from 50 to 47 years on average across Africa;

Only 55% of Africans have access to drinking water and sanitary system;

Only 12% of African roads are paved;

32 out of 1000 Africans have access to telephone and 9 out of 1000 have a computer;

200 million under-nourished people, 500 million hectares of land including 5% of farming land are affected by soil impoverishment.

Emphasizing, after the fashion of the World Human Rights Conference held in Vienna in June 1993, that democracy, development and respect for human rights and fundamental liberties are interdependent and mutually enforcing, that the right to development is a universal and inalienable right which is part and parcel of the fundamental rights of the human person,

Recalling '> the Syrte Declaration (Libya) adopted on 9 September 1999 by the fourth extraordinary session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government creating the African Union;

'>The adoption in Lome (Togo) by the 36th Ordinary Session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government (10-12 July 2000) of the constitutive instrument of the African Union concerning in particular the creation of the African Parliament;

Considering the Pan-African Parliament as an assembly common to all African peoples and their community organizations, responsible for ensuring greater participation in debates and decision-making concerning the challenges facing the continent;

Recalling the objectives as set forth in Article 3 of the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community as it concerns the African Parliament, and in the light of these challenges whose precise purpose is to:

facilitate the effective implementation of the policies of the African Union,

promote the principles of human rights and democracy,

encourage good governance and transparency,

give impetus to the process of African unification by the African peoples,

promote peace, security and stability,

ensure a prosperous future for African people,

bolster continental solidarity and create Pan-African awareness, a common destiny,

facilitate cooperation between regional economic communities and their parliamentary for a.

Recalling Article 17, paragraph 2 of the Cotonou ACP-EU Partnership Agreement concerning the Joint ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly of which 48 out of 53 African Parliaments are members, the role of which is to:

- promote democratic processes through dialogue and consultation,

- enable greater understanding between ACP and EU peoples,

- sensitize political opinions to development management,

- examine issues concerning ACP-EU partnership promotion;

Recalling the Joint ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly Resolution referring to ACP-EU 3395/02/COM on the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) adopted during its fourth session held from 18 to 21 March 2002 in Cape Town, South Africa in which it invited African Parliaments to identify together the means of contributing to the advance of NEPAD,

Acknowledging the initiative of African Heads of State and Government to exert efforts towards and African renaissance, more precisely the advent of a strong and competitive African economy in the global economy,edging the birth of the New Partnership for African Development, the objectives of which are to:

eradicate poverty in Africa and set African countries, individually and collectively, on the road to sustainable growth and development with a view to ending Africa's marginalization in the context of globalization;

promote women's role in all fields of activity;

arrive at a +7% average annual growth of gross domestic product and maintain that level for the next fifteen years;

make sure that the continent attains the following millennium development objectives (MDOs):

- wipe out extreme poverty and hunger and to that end cut down by half the proportion of the population whose income is below one dollar a day, and reduce by half the percentage of the population suffering from hunger;

- provide universal primary education and to do so, give all children boys and girls throughout the continent, the means of completing primary education and address gender imbalances at primary and secondary levels;

- reduce by two-thirds infant and child mortality;

- reduce by three-quarters the maternal mortality rate;

- eradicate the spread of HIV-AIDS and stem the progress of malaria and other major diseases, and embark upon reversing the current trend;

- ensure the sustainability of environmental resources and to do so, include principles of sustainable development in national and regional policies, and reverse the current trend of wasting environmental resources, reduce by half the population with no long-term access to drinking water and significantly improve the lives of at least 100 million slum inhabitants.

implement starting 2005 regional sustainable development strategies with a view to offsetting ecological resources lost by 2015;

The results expected of this strategy are:

economic growth, development and more jobs;

poverty reduction and less inequality;

diversification of production, enhancement of international competitiveness and more export;

better integration of Africa.

Taking note of the priorities retained for attaining the objectives, that is to say:

Good political governance which means free and fair elections as well as democratic institutions, the respect for human rights, the rights of women and children and transparency in the management of public property,

Good governance of the private sector economy indispensable to attract capital flow, an independent judiciary during disputes involving foreign investors, fair and transparent management of private companies;

Infrastructure: roads, railway, ports, airports, transport and communications all necessary production cost that intensify and create economic activities.

Basic education to train skilled human resources capable of creating and producing, indispensable for increased growth and well-being which are all part of the cost of production,

Health, a core challenge for Africa due to the high mortality rate attributable mostly to endemic diseases, malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS,

The NICTs, new information and communications technologies,

Agriculture, to remedy Africa's food dependence and eradicate famine,

Environmental protection especially in the following areas: climatology, drought, desertification or coastal erosion,

Energy, an integral and necessary part of development.

Access to markets in the developed world which since the WTO Meeting in Doha, discussions between the G8 and Africa, the AGOA Initiative for some eligible countries, the negotiations started on 27 September 2002 between the ACP and the European Union constitutes one of the conditions for Africa's integration into the global economy.

Underscoring that this program is a new framework of interaction with the rest of the world, especially with industrialized countries and multilateral organizations, and based on an agenda prepared by Africans of their own volition, in order decide their own fate,

Aware that to attain such objectives African decision makers should together shoulder a number of responsibilities pursuant to the development strategy of the NEPAD action program adopted in Abuja in October 2001, namely:

consolidating the mechanisms for preventing, managing and solving regional and continental conflicts, and ensure that these mechanisms are used to restore and maintain peace;

promote and protect democracy and human rights in their respective countries and regions while establishing clear-cut norms for accountability, transparency and direct democracy at local and national levels;

restore and maintain macro-economic stability, in particular by defining appropriate monetary and budgetary policy norms and targets, and establishing adequate institutional frameworks to ensure their application;

promote regional economic integration which is a basic component of Africa's sustainable development and ensure complementarity and cohesion between regional economic communities as a necessary step towards the creation of a common African market, and with their external partners especially the European Union, within the framework of economic partnership agreements;

establish transparent legal and regulatory frameworks for the attention of financial markets in order to audit companies both in the private and public sector;

revitalize and extend education, technical training and health services by focusing more on HIV/AIDS control, malaria and other contagious diseases;

promote women's role in socio-economic development by building their capacity to learn and benefit from training, developing income-generating activities through easier access to credit and ensuring that they participate in the political and economic life of African countries;

strengthen the capacity of African States to legislate and enforce order;

promote the development of infrastructure, agriculture and its diversification to agro-industries and manufacturing for local markets and export.

Reasserting our attachment to and support of the principles, values and actions as contained in the Declaration of Heads of State and Government adopted during the thirty-seventh session of their conference held in Lusaka Zambia from 9 to 11 July 2001.

Reasserting the same commitment to the Declaration on the Implementation of NEPAD adopted on 8 July 2002 in Durban (South Africa) by the Heads of State and Government.

Reassertingfurther as for the Durban Declaration adopted during the first session of the African Union, 9 to 10 July 2002, on the occasion of the unveiling of the African Union, our attachment to the treaty in force establishing the African Economic Community signed in June 1991 which aims at setting up a common market with the regional economic communities as foundation. Today, the regional economic communities - CEEFAC, SADC, COMESA, AMU, ECOWAS, IGAD and CEN-SAD are getting stronger and have proven to be genuine engines for the integration process thanks to sustained efforts to achieve economic development and integration, and to promote peace through the settlement of regional conflicts, even as they remain committed to continental and global cooperation.

Recalling '> the same Declaration made by the Heads of State and Government whereby they assert their attachment to the objectives of the New Partnership for African Development as a program of the African Union which fulfills the need to re-position Africa in the global set up, to reduce poverty and improve living standard of all African peoples.

Reasserting our full commitment to the objectives set under NEPAD.

Supporting initiatives ongoing for its implementation.

Reasserting that the African Parliamentarians' Forum for NEPAD falls into the framework of the objectives of the Pan-African parliament, the cooperation between regional economic communities and their parliamentary fora and strengthening of parliamentary control.

Recommend,in order to further the democratic debate, good economic, political and social governance, instituting the FORUM for NEPAD as framework for reflection, consultation, debates, initiatives, proposals, commitments and support of efforts underway to achieve the African Union's objectives for NEPAD.

Recommend to our Parliaments to establish a permanent parliamentarians' forum for children in each parliament of our respective countries, and create a network of parliamentary groups for children at continental level that will follow-up and implement the Declaration and Action Plan of this Forum.

Mandate the President of the FORUM in consultation with the Speaker of the Pan-African Parliament, the President of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, the President of the Commission of the African Union, the responsibility of giving impetus to the FORUM alongside civil society, women and the youths in implementing its action plan.

Reassert our attachment to the objectives of the New Partnership for African Development as a program of the African Union which is also a response to re-position Africa within the framework of globalization, to reduce poverty and improve the standard of living of all Africans.

Recommend toall national and regional African parliaments, each in its own way, to set up National NEPAD parliamentary groups required to monitor the deliberations of the FORUM.

Mandate the President of the FORUM to initiate the implementation process of this continental network and an appropriate coordination, administrative and technical structure responsible for managing, monitoring the implementation in keeping with guidelines and the schedule laid down in the Action Plan which is part of this Declaration;

Recommend a meeting after an interim period (October 2002-October 2003) to examine the report of the Interim President on the status of the mandate whose terms of reference are contained in this Declaration.

Thank the Joint ACP-EU Assembly for having taken the initiative, through its Resolution adopted in unanimity in Cape Town (South Africa) to promote the holding of this FORUM for NEPAD;


- the Governments of Benin, Denmark, Italy, United States, France,

- Regional organizations,

- Continental organizations: ADB,

- International organizations: European Union, Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, the United Nations system especially UNICEF and UNDP, USAID for having contributed greatly to ensuring that this first African Parliamentarian's Forum for NEPAD is a success;

Recognize the efforts unfailingly provided by Canada in its support of NEPAD, especially the New Canadian Initiative for Africa through which Canada has confirmed its resolve to back and accompany us as we implement NEPAD, by promoting economic growth in the continent, investing in human capital and Africa's future but more importantly institutions and governance, in particular the consolidation of parliaments in Africa by way of the Pan-African and intra-regional parliamentary associations and networks, parliamentary measures to control corruption in the context of a partnership with the African Parliamentary Union.

Recommend to these Governments, international organizations mentioned above as well as governments and organizations that the African Parliamentarians' Forum for NEPAD will have to call upon to continue to provide intellectual, technical and financial support required to set up an appropriate intra- and inter-parliamentary network, an instrument of efficient coordination that replies not only to the demands and set objectives, but also monitors and manages its activities.

Mandate the Interim President of the Forum to take responsibility for giving impetus for the Forum and implementing its Action Plan.

We also urge African Parliaments which have not yet done so to ratify the protocol on the Pan-African Parliament to facilitate the convening of the PAP as soon as possible.

Done in Cotonou, 9 October 2002.


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