Ethiopia joins African Capacity Building Foundation
Membership serve cements mutual attribute and creates opportunities for extended informal intervention
Ethiopia Signs Membership Agreement with ABCF
Membership further cements mutual relationship and creates opportunities for enhanced regional intervention
Addis Ababa, 25th January 2012 (ACBF)
The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on 25th January 2012 signed a membership agreement, making Ethiopia the 36th African country to join ACBF. The signing of this membership agreement reiterates the confidence of African nations about ACBF and signifies the political commitment of Africans to capacity development as the best endeavor to pull Africa out of poverty.
ACBF’s presence in Ethiopia was initiated through the flagship Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI), one of two Ethiopian think-tanks supported by ACBF. A semi-autonomous public think-tank, EDRI was established in 1999 by the Ethiopian government and modeled after the Korean Development Institute (KDI), which undertakes research on various economic policy issues and provides analysis and perspectives to the Korean government. In the Ethiopian case the objective embraces applied research engagements that have meaningful relevance to economic policymaking and policy implementation in a market-friendly environment.
Ethiopia’s capacity building programme was launched within a context of inherent gaps in the institutional environment in Ethiopia, preventing the country from delivering the services its citizens expected. It became apparent that, given its pan-African mandate, the most appropriate collaborator to realise the objectives and mission of EDRI was the African Capacity Building Foundation. Phase I of the EDRI project became fully effective in mid-2003, ending in September 2008. The project was extended to a four-year second phase, which became effective in February 2009, and is currently ongoing.
The rationale behind this intervention remains that of filling knowledge gaps and providing evidence-based inputs related to the design, implementation and monitoring of Ethiopia’s development strategy and policies. The engagements of the ACBF/EDRI project are centered on institutional capacity building, strengthening and building partnerships, policy impact and dialogue, research and creating knowledge support system. In addition, the project aims to transfer tools and methodologies to the academia, research institutes and line ministries through shot-term training, workshops, seminars, conferences and participation in research in collaboration with national and international research partners.
The second ACBF-supported institution in Ethiopia is the Ethiopian Economic Policy Research Institute (EEPRI), which was established by the Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA) in 2000. The EEA/EEPRI project focuses on capacity building in economic policy management, through economic research, short term training, publications, policy dialogue and policy advice. The EEPRI was created as the EEA’s research and training institute; primarily due to the lack of civil society participation in the policy making process that affects the daily lives of the people.
Recognizing the need to proactively and constructively engage the public in both the process of making policy and in evaluating the overall performance of implemented policies, the ACBF/EEPRI project adds value to the process by undertaking policy- related social and economic research and by organising different forums in which development-related issues can be discussed.
In addition to undertaking research and organizing discussion forums, the EEA/EEPRI project also produces several publications and disseminates them to stakeholders. Short term training programmes are also organized for policy makers and the general public and the Institute also provides documentation services, provides policy advice to policy makers and supports economic teaching in higher learning institutions.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Executive Secretary of ACBF, Dr Frannie Leautier, said that Ethiopia’s decision to become a member of ACBF, comes at a critical juncture in the Foundation’s existence, given the country’s regional strategic importance. “This is a very timely and welcome agreement given the unique role that the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia occupies within the continent’s economic development and integration. We already have two excellent, flagship projects in Ethiopia and given the nation’s important role as the host of the African Union and UNECA the regional relevance of Ethiopia cannot be ignored. The decision to join ACBF as a member is confirmation of the unquestionable commitment of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to capacity building for sustainable development, as demonstrated over many years’ strategic investments in capacity at various levels. This membership will allow the Federal Republic of Ethiopia to share its vision, experience and successes in capacity building with the rest of the continent, as a member of the Foundation’s Board of Governors.”
In addition to the membership signing in Addis Ababa, ACBF also announced its intention to have a decentralised presence in Ethiopia. Currently, the Foundation has a Head Office in Harare, Zimbabwe and a representative office in Johannesburg, South Africa. By opening an ACBF office in Addis Ababa, ACBF will not only have a closer proximity to its projects, but it will also be better positioned to contribute even more strategically to the continent’s dynamic capacity development agenda, as mandated by the African Union. The Ethiopian hub will also see the further cementing of the strong relationship between the UNECA and ACBF, following the signing of the joint MoU. The ACBF/UNECA MoU covers 10 specific areas: Economic Policy Analysis; Regional Integration; Trade Capacity; Gender; ICT; KM; Statistics; Governance; Institution Building and Monitoring and Evaluation.
In his closing address, Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development, H.E. Ato Sufian Ahmed, who will become ACBF’s Governor, expressed his appreciation of ACBF’s contribution to Ethiopia’s economic development over the years through EDRI and EEA/EEPRI and reaffirmed his country’s support for ACBF’s mission and vision on a national, regional and continental level. He further pledged to share Ethiopia’s capacity development experiences at the Foundation’s Annual Board of Governor’s meeting in June 2012, in Nairobi, Kenya.
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.
The African Union currently serves as an Observer on the ACBF Board of Governors.
For further information on ACBF, please contact:
African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)
PO Box 1562, Harare
Tel: + 263 4 700208/210