As the 21st century was dawning,
many African people saw their political systems opening
up dramatically, and better economic management beginning
to bear fruit. But enormous challenges remained, not
least the unconscionable 46% of sub-Saharan Africans
still living on less than a dollar a day.
Institutional weakness, poor governance and
political instability still represented major obstacles
to development. In addition, the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS
was affecting not only people's health, but also the
very fabric of society and economic productivity.
Africa also faced exclusion from the overall process
of globalization, and from many benefits of new information
and communications technology (ICT).
In response, several African countries took
their own bold initiatives in charting regional and
sub-regional priorities for the new century. At the
Organization of African Unity (OAU) summit in Lusaka,
Zambia in July 2001, these initiatives were integrated
into one vision for Africa's future — later launched
as the New Partnership for
Africa’s Development (NEPAD). The establishment
of the African Union
(AU) in July 2002 was an important milestone in
furthering Africa's own vision for the continent,
and NEPAD became a mandated initiative of the AU.
In October 2002, the UN General Assembly
endorsed Secretary-General Kofi Annan's recommendation
that NEPAD should be the framework for the international
community's support for African development.
TICAD fully embraces NEPAD and presents a
unique forum for high-level dialogue and consensus-building
in order to give strong support to this African-led
TICAD III is committed to creating full synergy
between TICAD's work and NEPAD's own approaches.