Addis Ababa/Harare, 22 Jan. 2018 (ACBF) – As African leaders prepare to gather in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) from 22nd to 29th January 2018, the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), the AU’s Specialized Agency for Capacity Development, is taking the necessary steps to advise African Heads of State and Government on capacity requirements to fight corruption on the contienent. Effectively fighting corruption will help Africa to optimize investment in the skills revolution that will facilitate Africa’s accelerated and sustainable transformation through a successful implementation of national development plans, Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The theme for this year’s summit which is Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation resonates very well with the four pillars of the ACBF Strategy for the period 2017-2021, which are to: 1) enable effective delivery of continental development priorities; 2) support countries to achieve tangible development results; 3) enhance private sector and civil society contribution to sustainable development; and, 4) leverage knowledge and learning to increase development effectiveness.
Among the several evidence-based policy and capacity development guidelines ACBF has developed at the behest of the AU and its member States, is the report titled ‘Institutional Frameworks for addressing Public Sector Corruption in Africa’ which examines how much state institutions created to stamp out corruption across various African countries have actually achieved. It gives pointers as to how to tackle corruption to acceerate the implementation of development plans. The study acknowledges the huge difficulties corruption-fighting bodies in sampled countries have faced in their mandates of reversing the dangerous practices of corruption and recommends out-of-the-box tools to address the challenge.
Ways of eradicating corruption, the Report notes, include: reducing opportunities for officials to act corruptly by cutting back on their discretionary authority; enhancing accountability by strengthening mechanisms for monitoring and punishment; increasing competitiveness in the economy in order to reduce incentives for corrupt behavior; and stopping interference by state authorities in determining market prices, which can be a conduit for bribery with the private sector. The document also identifies the empowerment of civil society and reforming the political environment to make it more competitive, as other ways of reducing the incidence of corruption in Africa to make way for seamless public and private sector delivery towards transformation.
Meanwhile, the Foundation and the African Development Bank will soon publish the African Financial Governance Outlook (AFGO), a new flagship report to enrich understanding of public financial management and its contribution to good governance, with the ultimate aim of reducing poverty and delivering sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Africa.
At the Heads of State Summit, ACBF will take advantage of its participation in two major sessions that will feed in the Heads of State and Government Summit slated for 28 and 29 January to make decisive contributions on capacity requirements to fight corruption. These are: the 35th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (22-23 January 2017) and the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council (25-26 January 2017) at the premises of African Union Commission (AUC).
“The Summit’s theme which centers on effectively fighting corruption to guarantee Africa’s transformation is very pertinent and timely to keep the continent on a path to achieving tangible results in the implementation of Agenda 2063 and the SDGs, thus making Africa’s transformation a reality.,” said Prof Emmanuel Nnadozie – Executive Secretary of ACBF, ahead of the gathering.
“For a long time, the discussion around fighting corruption to enhance policy implementation and service delivery in Africa has been centered around behavior and mentality change alone, whereas the evidence on the field shows serious gaps in the capacity of institutions called upon to fight corruption to undertake their daunting tasks in a wholistic and results-based manner,” he added.
Prof Nnadozie said ACBF would be bringing fresh sets of perspectives on capacity to tackle corruption by proposing mechanisms to coordinate the work of such institutions alongside frameworks for economic and political competitiveness, judicial effectiveness and transformative leadership, among others.
In the context of the Summit, the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) is also working with the African Union Commission (AUC) to establish a solid legal instrument to optimize its status as the African Union’s Specialized Agency for Capacity Development to deliver programs and advisory services that are of maximum benefit to the continent. Such an instrument will strengthen coordination between the Foundation, the AUC and other continental bodies to deliver timely development and capacity advice/services to all AU member States. This will help avoid duplication and optimize services for member States to plug the gaps in their plans toward accelerated transformation and sustainable development.
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ABOUT the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)
Having spearheaded and robustly coordinated capacity development programs worth over 700 million US dollars across 45 countries and 8 regional economic communities (RECs) in Africa since 1991, ACBF has gathered the requisite experience that makes it the go-to institution for expert knowledge and human resources to advise and support African countries, regional economic communities and institutions on decisive steps to take to develop the practical skills urgently required for the continent’s economic transformation.
Evidence from our cutting-edge work (constituting hundreds of knowledge publications) and the work of several partners show that Africa's development efforts are being hobbled by severe capacity deficits often in the form of shortage of critical skills, deficits in leadership, inhibiting mindsets and weak institutions. The continent’s practical skills shortage is acute in key areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Agriculture.
At ACBF, we will continue using our unmatched track record in managing financial facilities for development, our vast knowledge gathering experience thanks to the exceptional skills mix of our core staff as well as our strong strategic partnerships and networks to help countries and institutions identify their capacity needs, advise them on how to plug these capacity weaknesses and on where to find the knowledge and resources to develop the requisite capacity resources, effectively use them and retain them to achieve their short and long-term development objectives.
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