Magazine article UN Chronicle

United Nations Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery 1986-1990

Magazine article UN Chronicle

United Nations Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery 1986-1990

Article excerpt

United Nations Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery 1986-1990

"A clear expression of solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Africa'

Secretary-General Perez de Cuellar said the international community, in adopting the Programme of Action, had "clearly expressed their human solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Africa'. Determined and continued efforts over time were needed to meet the challenge. "The image of Africa as a dependent continent must disappear. Africa is a continent rich in physical and human resources. The realization of its potential will not only fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the peoples of Africa, but also contribute immeasurably to the economic and social well-being of all the world'. A summary of the 3-part, 24-paragraph Programme of Action follows.

"A stagnant or perpetually backward Africa is not in the interests of the international community'


Africa's economic and social crisis has been "a cause of grave concern to Africa and the international community alike', the Programme begins. The international community "fully recognizes the pervasive and structural economic problems of the African continent', some of which "lie in the colonial past; some of these flow from the post-independence era; others are a combination of economic, political and endemic factors'. Notwithstanding past efforts, the international community must intensify its co-operation and substantially increase its support for African efforts.

Stressing that "Africa has taken the main responsibility for its own development', the document states that the African development crisis "is not an exclusive African problem but one that concerns mankind as a whole'. A "stagnant or perpetually economically backward Africa is not in the interest of the world community'.

The international community must "respond positively to the African call for a new era of co-operation based on a spirit of genuine and equal partnership . . . an essential element for harmonious and mutually beneficial economic co-operation in an interdependent world'. Africa is convinced that given such support it can "in the not too distant future' establish national, sub-regional and regional structures to ensure "self-reliant, sustainable economic development'.


The Programme declares it is "based on mutual commitment and co-operation', and consists of two "central elements': the determination and commitment of African countries to launch national and regional programmes of economic development; and the response of the international community and its commitment to support and complement African development efforts. The programmes to be launched, it specifies, are reflected in Africa's Priority Programme for Economic Recovery, 1986-1990.

Implementation of Africa's Priority Programme should also contribute to the realization of the 1980 Lagos Plan of Action for the Implementation of the 1979 Monrovia Strategy for the Economic Development of Africa, the United Nations Industrial Development Decade for Africa (1980-1990), the United Nations Transportation and Communications Decade for Africa (1978-1988), and the 1984 Harare Declaration on the Food Crisis in Africa.

Measures to be undertaken in the following areas were cited: agricultural development, drought and desertification, human resources development, and policy reforms. Following is a sampling of priority recommendations in major areas of concern and financial estimates for the five-year period:

Agriculture--$57.4 billion

Immediate measures to combat food emergencies, including institution of an effective early-warning system, are proposed. Medium-term measures recommended include those related to raising substantially investments in the agricultural sector; increasing food production; restoring and developing arable land; establishing effective pricing policies and incentive schemes; developing mechanization and increased use of fertilizers, improved seeds and pesticides; improving storage capacity; and developing agricultural research. …

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