They laid down vision and eight ideals to serve as pillars for the continent in the foreseeable future, which Agenda 2063 will translate into concrete objectives, milestones, goals, targets and actions/measures. Agenda 2063 strives to enable Africa remain focused and committed to the ideals envisaged in the context of a rapidly changing world Why a 50 Year Agenda? Fifty years is, undoubtedly, an extremely long development planning horizon, however strategic we may call it. Is this a serious choice? How can one realistically plan given breath-taking changes globally and within the continent? What are the benefits of such long-term planning? These are some of the questions raised by many people from all corners.
The choice of a 50 year time must be understood within the context of the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the OAU; and the need for the continent to take stock of achievements, successes/ failures and map out a long-term vision as well as set goals and targets. In operational terms, the Agenda 2063 would be a rolling plan of 25 years, 10 years, 5 years and short term action plans.
Agenda 2063 - Why now?
This new effort to envision Africa’s long-term development trajectory is timely for several reasons:
- Changing global context. Globalization and the information technology revolution have provided unprecedented opportunities for countries and regions with the right policies to make significant advances and lift huge sections of populations out of poverty, improve incomes and catalyze economic and social transformations. In addition, most African economies now have in place sound macro-economic and market-oriented economies which have spurred growth, trade and investment expansion.
- Building on the NEPAD experience. National, regional and global efforts made to implement NEPAD, unseen during the LPA and AT, have enabled AU to build institutions (e.g., APRM, etc.), demonstrate unprecedented commitment to implement agreed agenda, generate valuable lessons that present strong foundation for Agenda 2063. Indeed, Agenda 2063 is a logical and natural continuation of NEPAD and other initiatives.
- A more united and strong Africa. Africa today is more united, a global power to reckon with, capable of rallying support around a common agenda and speaking with one voice with demonstrated strong capacity to negotiate and withstand the influence of forces that would like to see it divided.
- Strong and well functioning regional institutions. Africa’s sub regional institutions have been rationalized and the eight officially AU recognized Regional Economic Communities (CEN-SAD, COMESA, EAC, ECCAS, ECOWAS, IGAD, SADC and UMA) are today strong development and political institutions that citizens’ can count on and Agenda 2063 can stand on.
- New development and investment opportunities. Africa today is
faced with a confluence of factors that present a great opportunity for
consolidation and rapid progress. These include:
- Unprecedented positive and sustained growth trajectory of many African countries resulting from sound macro-economic policies and strategies bolstered by high commodity prices
- Significant reduction of armed conflicts, improved peace and stability, coupled with advances in democratic governance.
- A fast rising broad based African entrepreneurial and middle class, coupled with the youth bulge, which can act as catalyst for further growth and technological progress.
- Changes in the international finance architecture, the rise of the BRICS and improved flows of FDI to Africa beyond commodity producing sectors.
What is the added value of Agenda 2063 and how does it take account of past and ongoing policies and programmes at national, regional and continental levels?
Agenda 2063 should be seen as a logical continuation of recent developments with renewed and invigorated efforts to catalyze development and strengthen African integration and unity. It aims to build upon the achievements and draw lessons from earlier strategic planning efforts at the regional and sub-regional levels, including the Lagos Plan of Action, the Abuja Treaty and the NEPAD, to address new and emerging issues in the continent over the short, medium and long-term. Indeed, Agenda 2063’s guiding principle is continuity of actions, drawing appropriate lessons, building upon what has worked in the past; and in brief making every effort to do things better.
Thus Agenda 2063 should be seen as a unique opportunity to recreate the African narrative by putting it into perspective to energize the African population and harness citizens creativity through a set of clear goals that citizens participate in setting for unity, peace and development in the 21st century. The thrust of Agenda 2063 is a program of social, economic and political rejuvenation that links the past, present and the future in order to create a new generation of Pan Africanists that will harness the lessons learnt and use them as building blocks to consolidate the hope and promises of the founding parents for a true renaissance of Africa.
Agenda 2063 is expected to be a source of inspiration for development of national and regional sustainable development plans.