3 May 2006
The African Monitor, a new non-governmental organisation (NGO) launched in Cape Town on Tuesday, aims to serve as a catalyst within African civil society, helping both governments and NGOs to identify constraints to faster growth and lobbying for Africa’s development.
Spearheaded by South Africa’s Anglican Archbishop, Njongonkulu Ndungane, the African Monitor will seek to bring a strong African voice to the development debate and monitor whether Africa’s development promises are being met.
Speaking at the launch, Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said that while it was crucial for the African Monitor (AM) to be independent, it should also partner governments in the fight against poverty and disease.
“It is in that intersection between partnership and independence that the true value of the AM will play itself out,” Mlambo-Ngcuka said, adding that the body would add to the “arsenal of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms” that African governments were putting in place to gauge their own progress.
“It is particularly refreshing to see that AM intends to roll out a community monitoring programme that will enable communities to speak on development implementation.”
The Deputy President said Africa had every reason to be confident. It had resolved to eliminate conflict and its root causes, and it had a new generation of leaders who were committed to people-centred programmes of development.
In addition, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) set out concrete projects in infrastructure and human resource development, the harnessing of communications and other technology, and taking full advantage of the comparative advantages that the continent’s various regions possessed.
What Africa was looking for now, Mlambo-Ngcuka said, were processes to help the continent accelerate its rate of implementation, so that by 2015 “we mobilise the peoples of the continent and the globe to meet the targets we have set.”
When the United Nations identified 2015 as the year by which governments should have significantly reduced hunger, child and maternal mortality, unemployment, ignorance and disease, “it was expressing more than a hope about what could be done” – it was inspired by the conviction that humanity had it within its power to meet these targets.
Archbishop Ndungane said the African Monitor would soon appoint a board representative of its constituency.
In addition to the board, the AM will also put together a Togona (House of Wisdom) to perform broad-based advocacy with policy makers and be the public face of the organisation.
“The Togona will consist of high-profile leaders with credibility and influence in Africa and beyond,” Ndungane said.