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Women’s Day Message from the Executive Secretary

12 Mar, 2021

On the occasion of International Women’s Day today, I take the opportunity to wish all female staff members in the Foundation, a very happy Women's Day. As we celebrate this day, let us not lose sight of why the day was dedicated to the exclusive acknowledgement and honouring of the world's women. The United Nations dedicated this day to recognise that economic prosperity, social progress and peace in the world require the active participation and equality of women, and the acknowledgement of the contribution of women to international development and peace and security. For the women of the world, the day is an occasion to review how far they have come in their quest for equality, empowerment, peace and development.

This year’s International Women’s Day is unique, as it comes at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. As countries and communities grapple with the persistence of a devastating pandemic, it is now clear that urgent and decisive action must be taken to address the exclusion and marginalization of women and girls. The effects of the pandemic have demonstrated more glaringly the vulnerability of women and girls, as they have been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis. For a large number of them, the mitigation measures that governments had to put in place, including lockdowns, curfews and restrictions on informal trading, have made their lives more difficult, as women and girls are concentrated in the informal sector that has been worst hit by these measures. Too many are at risk of poverty or exclusion. The restrictions have also exacerbated women’s and girls’ vulnerability to domestic violence.

As hope begins to emerge for recovery from the pandemic with the advent of vaccines, women and girls need to participate in building back better. In forging forward therefore, Africa must do things differently by fully harnessing the role of women in shaping a more equal, more inclusive and more sustainable future. Women and girls must participate in shaping the actions being taken by countries to respond to and recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the premier capacity building institution in Africa, ACBF must continue to build the capacity of African Governments to identify and address gaps in their response to the pandemic. This includes supporting women’s participation in decision making processes, in formal economic activities, and in addressing barriers that hold women back in general, which include gender-based violence and lack of opportunities for education and paid work. ACBF will continue to do its part in empowering women and in developing the capacity of institutions to deliver services that recognise and empower women.

May this day remind us that men and women need to work together to find lasting solutions to the world's most serious social, economic, political, environmental and peace and security problems, and that capacity building is pivotal in this regard. Happy International Women's Day!!

Thomas Kwesi Quartey

ACBF has been granted the status of a specialized agency because of the potential to transform Africa through capacity development.

H.E. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson, AU Commission
Erastus Mwencha

The recognition of ACBF as the African Union’s Specialized Agency for Capacity Development launches the beginning of a new era for capacity building by ACBF, which will require an appropriate level of political commitment and financial support from all stakeholders.

H.E. Erastus Mwencha, Chair, ACBF Executive Board
Lamin Momodou

The remarkable achievements ACBF has registered over the past 26 years is not by accident in our opinion. They have come through hard work, dedication, commitment, purposeful leadership, support from the member countries as well as productive partnership building.

Mr. Lamin Momodou MANNEH, Director, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa
Goodall Gondwe

Africa needs ACBF as much, probably more now, than at the time it was created in 1991.

Hon. Goodall Gondwe, former Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance – Malawi
Ken Ofori Atta

Ghana’s partnership with ACBF is a tremendous blessing for us and therefore the opportunity for Ghana to host the 26th ACBF Board of Governors Meeting is something that we treasure.

Hon Ken Ofori Atta, Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance - Ghana