Paris, France (ACBF), 29 September 2010 - The third ACBF High Level Conference opened in Paris yesterday, with delegates reflecting on Africa’s past experiences and expressing optimism for the future. In his keynote address, HE John Agkekum Kufuor, former President of the Republic of Ghana shared how transformational leadership is spreading all over the African continent. “The days of imposed rule and coups are outdated”, he said. “The new leadership, with all its faults and difficulties, has led to some transparency … reducing political corruption and creating awareness in the electorate of civil responsibilities and voter powerfulness. Africa’s leadership is now becoming pragmatic and beginning to see its relationship with the rest of the world in geopolitical terms, which will be determined more by markets and economic co-operations in the foreseeable future. “
Speaking at the same event, ACBF Executive Secretary, Dr. Frannie .A. Léautier, began her contribution within the context of good governance, transformational leadership and the attainment of the MDGs. The choice of the MDGs as the guiding post, she said, reflected the view that progress towards poverty reduction can be measured by progress towards the MDGs.
Dr. Léautier proposed a number of priority areas that African countries must focus on, going forward. These include the need to resolve the pockets of conflicts to create the necessary environment for economic growth and poverty reduction; the need to continue to emphasize capacity development as a vehicle for attaining and deepening democratic credentials; targeted leadership development, aimed at middle level talented youth and leaders who focus on the bigger picture, demonstrating vision and working harder to turn dreams into reality. “The twenty first century presents opportunities for forward looking leaders to make an impact in their countries and in the world at large” she concluded.
For the first time, the private sector participated in the HLF, with prominent banker, EcoBank CEO Arnold Ekpe and ICCO Acting Executive Director, Mr Jean-Marc Anga speaking on regional integration in Africa. Georges Serre, Deputy Director General in the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, represented French Foreign Minister, Mr Bernard Kouchner, and reminisced on how he had played a role in the formation of ACBF, 20 years ago. Other prominent presenters at the meeting included Huguette Labelle, Chancellor, Ottowa University; Vijay S Makhan, Former Interim Commissioner of the AU and Ibrahim Mayaki, Chief Executive, NEPAD. Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance, Hon. Tendai Biti, joined Ugandan Central Bank Deputy Governor, Mr Louis Kasekende, CAR’s Minister Counselor, Ms Marlyn Moulioum and Former Lead Financial Economist and AfDB Acting Director, Michael Mah’moud in discussing the impact of the global financial crisis on Africa. The High Level Forum was attended by ACBF Board of Governors and was organized in collaboration with Lunalogic, an internal consultancy firm, based in Paris.
About the African Capacity Building Foundation
ACBF was established in February 1991. It is the outcome of collaboration between African governments and the international donor community. Its mission is to build sustainable human and institutional capacity for sustainable growth and poverty reduction in Africa. ACBF’s vision is for Africa to be recognized for its socio-political and economic capabilities and endowments – a continent with effective institutions and policies acquired through sustained investment in people and institutions. The Foundation aims to become a leader, major partner, and centre of excellence for capacity building in Africa.