“Why is it important for all countries to spend 10 percent of their national budget on agriculture, when climate and terrestrial conditions across the Continent varies so much from country to country? On the Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), how effective is it? How can we expect development in Africa when Africans do not develop the rules of the game? Does NEPAD offer any programs where students can be involved?”
These and many more were the questions asked by the junior year students (3rd Year) of the International Relations course at The University of the Witwatersrand, popularly known as Wits University during their field trip to the NEPAD Agency headquarters in Johannesburg this week. Wits University is one of the leading institutions of higher learning in Africa and is located in Johannesburg.
The students were led by Associate Professor, Dr. Malte Brosig from the Wits’ faculty of Humanities and hosted by the office of the Chief Executive Officer at NEPAD.
“Every semester we target an international organization to learn about and undertake a field trip to see how they work and this semester NEPAD was a perfect fit for us” stated Dr. Brosig when explaining the purpose of their visit.
The study tour involved three presentations by senior program managers; Dr. John Tambi talked about NEPAD’s Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa; Mr. Ousmane Djibo on “The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program” as well as a brief summary by Mr. Ibrahim Gourouza on the transition of the organization “From the NEPAD Secretariat to NEPAD Agency”.
The students also watch a short video entitled (NEPAD @ 10, which showcases the achievements of the organization since its inception in 2001.
Welcome remarks and word of thanks were delivered by Mr. Gengezi Mgidlana who also encouraged the students to engage further with the agency beyond the field trip via social media and the NEPAD website.
Under the auspice of going green the students were given NEPAD wristband flash disks with the agency’s information on them and were guided to a tour of NEPAD offices. When asked by one of NEPAD staff what message they were taking home one student bluttered “NEPAD is not about managing poverty it’s about growth and development.”
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