The NEPAD business group is another very important structure of NEPAD to promote investment in the continent and deal with the endless reliance on Aid. This group is usually referred to as the private sector arm of NEPAD and comprises of leading business organizations who have broad constituency-both in and outside Africa- and are committed to investing in the continent. The group acts as medium between NEPAD and private companies who supports its aims. They share information on trade and investment opportunities in Africa and encourage private sector led sustainable development projects. The group consists of twelve organizations who control businesses in and outside Africa including African Business Roundtable(ABRT) International Chamber of Commerce(ICC) Commonwealth Business Council Forum Francophone des Affaires, Business Humanitarian Forum,(BHF) Conseil Francais des Investisseur en Afrique, (CIAN),Corporate Council on Africa, British Africa Business Association (BABA),International, Business Leaders Forum,(IBLF), Business Council European Africa Mediterranean (BCEAM) Pan African Employers Confederation(PEC) Canadian Council on Africa.
However, NEPAD encouraged the establishment of this business group at the sub- regional level and that is where the Southern African region has made appreciable impact with it NEPAD business group known as NEPAD Business Foundation. This group has remained the most visible business group under NEPAD because of its achievements in promoting business, good corporate governance practices and regional integration in the Southern African region.
Criticisms of NEPAD
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development was faced with scratching criticism soon after its launch in Abuja Nigeria. These criticisms came from members of the civil society, the academia, and even some African leaders. Their attack on the plan stemmed from its perceived confusion of agenda, lack of consultation and elitist approach, neoliberal philosophy, burden of implementation, deficiencies of its structures like the APRM and the Business group.
De Waal (2002) was one of the writers to fire the first shot questioning NEPAD’s real agenda. He wanted to know if the plan was a program of AU or distinct from the supposedly Africa’s highest continental body. Though he commended incorporating best practices in corporate and economic governance in the NEPAD’s frame work but reasoned that since there are still clouds of uncertainty surrounding its over ownership, the initiative may likely die as it was hurriedly conceived. In another related attack with his colleagues they criticized NEPAD for likely to become a mechanism for Aid funded projects; a sort of mega NGO distinguished by the fact that it’s governing board comprises of heads of states (De Waal et al. 2004). Not stopping at that, they went further to caution that for the plan to achieve its objectives, it must concentrate on policy making and not programs implementation arguing that once...