Opening address by Abdoulaye Mar Dieye at the Regional Experience-Sharing Workshop On Senegal’s Emergency Community Development Programme in Dakar

Mar 14, 2017

Mr. President of the Republic,

Mr. Prime Minister,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of the Government,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ministers of the Countries represented here,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Representatives of the Institutions of the Republic,

Your Excellencies, Ambassadors and Heads of Diplomatic Missions,

Dear Colleagues, Representatives of the Agencies of the United Nations system,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Honoured participants,

 

I should like as a first step, on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). to address my sincere thanks to his Excellency President Macky SALL, and to his Government, for having decided to associate UNDP with this important experience-sharing workshop on Senegal’s Emergency Community Development Programme (PUDC).

And I am very pleased at the participation of several ministerial delegations from friendly countries; a participation which reflects the strong impact that the PUDC has beyond Senegal’s borders, and which furthermore enshrines such an initiative’s standing as a demonstration model.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

While it is true that over the past 15 years Africa has initiated a spectacular economic recovery, following what have been called two lost development decades in the 1980s and 1990s, in order for such a performance to be irreversible and to widen yet further, it needs to be based to a much greater extent on the inner workings of national economies and have a direct, rapid and wide-ranging impact on the population as a whole and on the country’s urban and rural areas.

Senegal’s clear understanding of this—and in this sense the country is a pioneer—has caused it to implement a strategy of structural transformation and inclusion, which is founded on a magic quadrant, namely the Emerging Senegal Plan (PSE) and its various aspects, which operate in synergy and comprise the Emergency Community Development Programme (PUDC), the Emergency Programme for Modernization of the Frontier Infrastructure (PUMA) and the Towns Modernization Programme (Promovilles).

Urgency is the common denominator of these three programmes.

This urgency is a reality!

There is urgency, particularly in Africa, because poverty is still endemic in many countries, primarily in the peri-urban and rural areas, despite strong economic growth.

There is urgency because inequalities are deepening, particularly between the urban and rural environments.

There is urgency because there are chronic infrastructure shortcomings in rural areas as well as in the peripheral and frontier zones.

A failure to resolve these urgent matters not only represents a massive burden on the populations but also constitutes a serious obstacle to the future of our countries and the social contract.

Now, only urgent actions, falling under a long-term development perspective, will allow us to eliminate the burden of urgency. And this burden must be overcome in order to correct inequality, exclusion and marginalization, all standing in the way of any process of sustainable development or any striving towards social peace.

This is, of course, the philosophy of the PUDC; and the genius of such a programme resides in the fact that it makes it possible not only to satisfy short-term demands, such as the reaction time for responding to populations’ demands, for resolving their daily and pressing problems, and for improving their quality of life; but also enables a response to long-term challenges, in other words it allows the time needed to erect buildings and infrastructures which will allow these same populations to take an active part in the development of their environment and to assist in the structural transformation of the economy. 

The PUDC is thus a perfect vector for promoting, accelerating and securing sustainable and inclusive development, a pledge of social peace.

Mr. President,

We should like to state here how grateful, how proud, we are to have been chosen to partner with the Government in making this programme a reality. Our contribution has had to do with the implementation of a system of management based on urgent procedures, while at the same time strictly observing the imperative need for transparency, efficiency and effectiveness. In addition, the UNDP network at global level has facilitated exchanges of experience and the sharing of knowledge, as well as international purchases made at favourable price/quality ratios.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the light of the summary of results just presented to us, it is essential that such a performance of the PUDC be welcomed and greeted with admiration; with admiration because such an experience is unprecedented; with admiration because implementation has taken place in record time and without interruption; with admiration because the outputs are high-level and the economic and social impacts promise to be for the long term.

Another factor, one that we will see today and tomorrow, with the presentations by the programme technicians, is that the PUDC is an express highway towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals under Agenda 2030, closely aligned with the African Union’s Agenda 2063, and with the “Top 5” priorities of the African Development Bank. It is here that the transformational power of such a programme will be found.

The PUDC experience is also an eloquent illustration that development is a marathon which has to be run with the mind of a sprinter and with a spirit of innovation.

Such an experience, because it is precedent-setting, should receive our seal of approval.

Because it is has demonstrated its worth, it should be emulated.

I wish our work together every success. I thank you.