Takoradi, Aug. 22, GNA - Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, the Minister of Regional Cooperation and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) has said NEPAD was not one of the programmes of the Breton Woods institutions. ''NEPAD is a collective idea of African leaders to create a sense of belongingness for a united continent to reduce poverty and deprivation among its people.'' Dr Apraku said this at the launch of NEPAD, the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) in the Western Region. "NEPAD is neither the baby of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund nor a donor-conditionality of the West." He said Ghana would remain committed to the goals and aspirations of NEPAD in the attempt to revive the socio-economic fortunes of Africa. Dr Apraku said the inclusion of President Kufuor in the Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee of NEPAD and the fact that Ghana was the first to start the self-assessment stage of the APRM amply demonstrates the assertion. He said NEPAD must be seen as holding the future for Africa, and therefore under it, democracy and socio-economic development are inextricably linked, and conflict, a mortal enemy. Dr Apraku said all the four convergence criteria for the introduction of a common currency for Ghana, the Gambia, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone in May 2005, may not be attained by all these countries, given the current international market trends. However, he was of the opinion that, that should not deter these countries from going ahead with the introduction of the common currency. Dr Apraku appealed to chiefs, politicians and opinion leaders to educate themselves on the laudable ideas being evolved under the NEPAD, so as to be able to explain this to the people. He said India has provided credits totalling 700 million dollars to Ghana to undertake projects that would also benefit other countries in the sub-region. Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire have plans to operate a common border post at Elubo to reduce frustrations of traders. Madam Sophia Horner-Sam, the Deputy Western Regional Minister said, the NEPAD initiative holds a great future for Africa in the search for measures to "disentangle itself from the vestige of colonialism".