In his GC address, HE Abdoulaye Wade, President
of Senegal and vice president of NEPAD made it clear that empowering
the people of Africa is a priority, if sustainable development
is to be an attainable goal. He highlighted the importance of
good governance, speaking of the vital role of women and the importance
of building the capacities of young people.
"I say, we have succeeded in Senegal in laying
the foundations for good governance. The time was right, and the
parties, including the opposition were ready to accept the concept
and seize the opportunities offered. Partnership with civil society,
in this context, is a priority, especially partnership with the
Women are an important part of the equation. In
my government, for example, there have eight women ministers,
and they are among the best and most capable there are. I go as
far as saying that we must encourage women in Africa to assume
their important role in sustainable development by supporting
We are working in Senegal towards providing a secure
and just environment that would be nurturing to sustainable development,
and I believe we are making progress.
In order to achieve sustainable development, people
need ecological security as much as they need economic security
and peace. 62% of Africa's population live in rural areas and
depend for their livelihoods on natural resources that have already
been stressed by over-consumption. They have to be educated and
empowered to participate successfully in the management of the
natural resources on which their lives depend.
More challenges face the New Economic Partnership
for African Development (NEPAD), of which UNEP has been a strong
supporter. We still need to mobilize resources and bring countries
to embrace selected projects.
We have achieved considerable results at the ministerial
meetings, yet there is a lot more to be achieved. I propose Action