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ACBF and ECA sign MOU to foster capacity development in Africa

16 Jan, 2015

The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a three years partnership to build human and institutional capacity in Africa.

Speaking at the signing ceremony on 16 January 2015 at the ACBF secretariat in Harare, Zimbabwe, the ACBF Executive Secretary, Emmanuel Nnadozie said that the partnership was critical for capacity development in Africa noting that “despite a steady economic growth over the last decade, Africa still faces significant challenges.”

“The current plunging of the oil prices, if prolonged, may result in significantly slowing down Africa’s growth because the continent’s economies are not diversified enough to resist such unexpected shocks”, he said.

He also pointed out that the Ebola crisis in West Africa was a reminder that capacity deficits are still real for the continent.

Both the ACBF and ECA agree that Africa’s economic transformation through industrialization, recognized by all as the way to achieve the continent’s sustainable development, requires a steady investment in capacity development.

At the same signing ceremony, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Abdalla Hamdok said the two organizations agreed on concrete and specific programs to further Africa’s development. “For the past two days our teams not only agreed to work on broad thematic areas but also for the first time we agreed on specific areas of work”

He also urged African governments against over reliance on aid.

“For the last decade or so, the aid that came to Africa, particularly the development aid was declining. The continent should aspire to be in a position, whereby we depend on ourselves, on mobilising domestic resources and taking charge of our development destiny.

“Until we get to that position, relying on aid will not take us anywhere. So even if we get aid we should look at it as probably leveraging our own resources,” he said.

The MOU between ACBF and ECA will form a basis for partnership between the two organizations to work together on joint programs and activities that are of mutual interest. Key programmatic areas will include; Capacity Development for Transformative Leadership, Capacity Development to Track, Stop and Return Illicit Financial Flows, Enhancing the Capacity Development of African Peer-Review Mechanism (APRM) Countries, Policy Research on Root Causes and Development Consequences of Conflict in Africa, Case Studies on Gender Equitable Growth and Development in Selected African Countries and Implementing a Data Revolution in Africa.

Other areas of the partnership include economic policy analysis and management, regional integration, trade capacity, gender and capacity building, information, communication and technology, knowledge management, statistics, governance, institutional building and monitoring and evaluation.

The two organizations will re-enforce modalities for providing services and support to member States and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) on capacity building interventions in key areas such as policy analysis and advocacy; consensus building on Africa’s key development challenges; and the provision of technical assistance to member countries, African institutions, and civil society organizations. Through the new agreement, the ECA and ACBF will continue to exchange information on events of interest to Africa and the two institutions and extend invitation for joint organization and participation; exchange of different publications and reports produced and; share of profiles, contacts and products of partners, mainly policy think tanks that the two Institutions are partnering with.   

The co-operation and collaboration between ECA and ACBF will not only serve their common objectives but also render their respective programs and activities more effective and beneficial to African countries. The comparative advantage of the partnership will ensure demand-driven support and realize synergies between their efforts.

This is the third time the ECA and ACBF are getting into partnership. The first MOU was signed on the 6th December 2008 and extended for the second time on the 16th September 2011.

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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