The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) held the 26th Annual Meeting of its Board of Governors on 4-5 September 2017 in Accra, Ghana under the high patronage of the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
At the end of this meeting, the Board:
1. APPRECIATES that African countries are now implementing Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (or Agenda 2030), both requiring huge financial resources;
2. NOTES that globally, large amounts of investable resources, mostly private, are available in advanced and emerging economies while domestic public resources, even in low-income countries, have increased and can be increased further when the relevant capacities are in place;
3. RECOGNISES that to efficiently mobilise the available resources, countries need to tackle capacity constraints. These include human and institutional capacity to effectively manage tax exemptions, tax evasion, capital flight, illicit financial flows, as well as constraints to accessing private resources particularly blended finance offered by public private partnership (PPP) avenues and capital markets;
4. ALSO RECOGNISES the need to make more effective use of existing resources to produce results, including by improving the rate of implementation and recommendsthat ACBF undertake a more comprehensive mapping of factors hindering absorption capacity in Africa;
5. RECOMMENDS that ACBF develops capacity of African countries to mobilize resources either domestically or on the international financial market, including through the private sector, pension funds, etc.
6. ACKNOWLEDGES that beyond the mobilization of resources, limited absorptive capacity for externally generated resources, has been recognized as affecting the implementation and effectiveness of various projects and programmes on the continent;
7. OBSERVES that while its acuteness differs across countries and sub-regions, absorptive capacity remains a persistent challenge which needs to be urgently addressed. These includes human resource capacity in the public sector, science and technology, institutional-level capacity around oversight, governance, and legal systems; absorptive capacity of the private sector and project implementation capacity;
8. COMMENDS ACBF for choosing “Accessing Funds for Development: Required Capacities for Resource Mobilization, Utilization and Absorption” as theme for the 26th meeting of its Board of Governors, a theme which is very relevant and timely for the continent;
9. ACKNOWLEDGES the pivotal role ACBF should play in addressing these resource-related challenges and enjoins the Foundation to continue coordinating capacity development efforts in this area and more widely to produce skilled people and strong institutions capable of bringing about transformative change at national, regional and continental levels in Africa;
10. WELCOMES the decision of the African Heads of State and Government to elevate ACBF to the status of Specialized Agency of the African Union for Capacity Development, thus designating ACBF as its vehicle for leading capacity development in Africa. Requests the African Union and African countries to continue playing a leadership role in promoting the financing of the Foundation by African member States and the international community;
11. NOTES with satisfaction the smooth transition ACBF has been able to make to date between the third Strategic Medium-Term Plan (SMTP III, 2012-2016) and the ACBF Strategy (2017-2021) by redesigning its business model and operating modalities;
12. REGRETS that while capacity development challenges remain significant in African countries, the resources for supporting coordinated efforts for filling the gaps have been dwindling over the years;
13. ACKNOWLEDGES the pledges and commitments made to date by African member countries, the African Development Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), and Afreximbank in support of the implementation of the new Strategy;
14. WELCOMES the commitment of the African Development Bank and the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank to continue supporting the ACBF 2017-21 Strategic Plan;
15. TAKES this opportunity to express gratitude to the World Bank for 26 years of unwavering support to ACBF and solemnly requests the Bank to ensure that the results that ACBF has achieved over the past quarter of a century remain sustainable by continuing support to the Foundation and, welcomes in this regard the renewed commitment made by the Bank to continue supporting capacity development programmes in Africa;
16. URGES African member countries which have not announced any pledges yet to the new Strategy to consider making this announcement at their earliest convenience and those which have already made pledges to make the disbursements that are due;
17. EXPRESSES appreciation to Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia and Zimbabwe who have already disbursed their first-year contributions, with the hope that they will be joined by many in the coming days and weeks;
18. NOTES, with concern however, that the sum of the pledged and available resources at this point in time represents less than a third of the resources required for the optimal implementation of the Foundation’s new Strategy;
19. URGES otherdevelopment partners to support the Foundation in its efforts to help create an Africa Capable of Achieving its Own Development as envisioned by the African people;
20. ENCOURAGES each African country to reach out to its bilateral and multilateral partners to advocate for financing of ACBF.
21. ADOPTS the Foundation’s Annual Report for the year 2016.
22. FURTHER ADOPTS the election of a new Bureau composed of Malawi as Chair, with Ghana and Cameroon as Vice Chairs;
23. EXPRESSES gratitude to Cameroon that the 27th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors will be hosted by the Republic of Cameroon at a date to be agreed between the Host Government and the Secretariat.
24. CONCLUDES by expressing the deepest appreciation of the delegates to the 26th meeting to His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the people of the Republic of Ghana for the excellent manner in which the meeting was organised and for the kind and generous hospitality accorded to all.
Accra, 5 September 2017
THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS