African Women Respond: Summary Report on G8 and NEPAD Plans and the Impact on Women in Africa

Article excerpt

AT THE G8 SUMMIT IN CANADA IN July 2002, the G8 nations pledged their support for the implementation of NEPAD (the New Partnership for Africa's Development) and agreed that by 2006, G8 countries' overseas development aid to Africa will increase by $ 12 billion per annum. On November 8, 2002, Women Waging Peace hosted a consultation among eleven African women leaders from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Sudan and representatives from relevant Canadian, British, and American government agencies to discuss the G8's support for NEPAD and its impact on women.

SUMMARY OF KEY ISSUES AND CONCERNS

NEPAD provides a unique opportunity for African nations to focus on sustainable development and peace. However, a number of key concerns were noted:

1. The NEPAD process has been limited to the political elite and traditional leadership in Africa. There are not mechanisms established to bring women into the process.

2. The NEPAD framework does not accurately reflect women's contributions to African nations in the economic, agricultural, social, political, or security arenas. Women are the major agricultural producers and are active in trade and the informal economy yet represent the majority of the illiterate and poor.

3. NEPAD and the G8 Action Plan are not sufficiently gender-sensitive. …