It has to be acknowledged that the many plans intended to rescue Africa from underdevelopment, often surrounded by controversies, have so far met with failure. NEPAD (New Partnership for African Development), drawn up on the basis of proposals made by African leaders and adopted by the new "African union" in Durban in July 2002, hopes to be the means henceforth of reversing the trend and bringing about growth for the African continent.
Christel Alvergne and Daniel Latouche present here the content of this plan, which aims basically to stimulate a new impetus of development by relying on substantial investments in infrastructure (transport, energy, clean water supply, drainage, telecommunications) in the hope that these will also have a strong multiplier effect.
The authors describe the projects planned under NEPAD and set out the benefits which these may generate for the whole of Africa. But they also stress that the infrastructure programmes must be conducted within the framework of a general land-use planning policy, which for the moment does not exist. According to the authors, NEPAD has allowed Africa to rediscover its land. But the continent still lacks a project to make the most of this resource, in particular one based on genuine territorial dynamics.