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Communique Of The 27th Annual Meeting Of The Governors Of The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)

20 Jul, 2018

WE, participants to the 27th Annual Board of Governors Meeting of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), comprising Governors representing Member Countries, Representatives of Multilateral and Bilateral Development Partners, Observers and Special Guests, meeting in Yaoundé, Cameroon from 19 to 20 July 2018: 

  1. Mindful of the persistence of capacity challenges on the continent, reaffirm that capacity development remains a top priority for Africa with a view to unlocking untapped potential particularly with regard to the youth population; 
  2. Encouraged by the significant progress made by the Foundation, in particular the success recorded under its Strategic Medium-Term Plan (SMTP) III in the following areas:
  • Unlocking implementation bottlenecks across the continent;
  • The growth of Think Tanks on the continent with greater impact and capacity for effective engagement;
  • Designation of ACBF as a Specialised Agency of the African Union, affirming its unparalleled position as the go-to partner for supporting capacity building in Africa;
  • Improved operational efficiency, impact of interventions, and results-oriented approach in ACBF programs in implementing the continental agenda;
  • Increased engagement with the philanthropic and private sectors in addressing capacity gaps on the continent;
  • Supporting policy research and analysis of key development challenges that need addressing to achieve inclusive and sustainable socio-economic transformation of the continent.
  1. Further encouraged by the alignment of the new business model with the concept of transformation which is currently leading the capacity development agenda on the continent encourage ACBF to efficiently and effectively influence this transformation process at continental, regional, and national levels;
  2. Aware that capacity development interventions require patient capital, strategic coordination and synergistic collaboration by all stakeholders, 
  3. Express our appreciation to ACBF for the unique opportunity to convene and discuss capacity development challenges on the African continent from a multi-stakeholder perspective; 
  4. Acknowledge the increased influence and coordination role of the Foundation in light of the strong partnership with the African Union Commission
  5. Undertake to ensure that the Foundation continues to lead targeted interventions to support member countries to achieve national and continental agendas on the continent by engaging bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental partners to mobilise the resources needed;
  6. Note that the launch of the ACBF Strategy 2017-2021 presents an opportunity for critical self-evaluation to assess the impact of capacity development interventions on the continent and identify the tangible actions that need to be taken in order to achieve more impactful results in future engagements and projects;
  7. Enjoin the Foundation to fully dedicate itself to operationalising the new business model built around the five service lines of Resource Mobilization Services for Capacity Development in Africa; Knowledge Services; Investments in Capacity Development and Fund Management; Capacity Development Advisory Services; and Innovation in Capacity Development;
  8. Recognise the potential of the youth to boost the continent’s prospects for inclusive growth and sustainable development;
  9. Commend ACBF for taking initiative to unlock the potential of the youth by choosing ‘Youth Employment in Africa: A Focus on Developing the Critical Skills’ as the theme of this year’s Board of Governors meeting, allowing Delegates to reflect on the pressing challenges and explore how to invest in skills that empower youths for employment and entrepreneurship;
  10. Reiterate our deep concern regarding Africa’s youth unemployment challenge and the resulting pressures on migration to other continents for economic opportunities along with the disastrous consequences including loss of lives of young Africans;
  11. Call onthe Foundation, with support of partners,to act in addressing the most urgent development challenges facing youth on the continent. Attention must be directed to coordinating the documentation and sharing of Africa-wide experiences, innovative solutions and lessons learned in addressing youth unemployment challenges, including in crisis-affected countries;
  12. Reiterate the key messages from the High-Level Forum, highlighting the need for the Foundation to lead, coordinate and set priorities for capacity development initiatives;
  13. Applaud the increased continental ownership of the Foundation, as demonstrated by the increased financial contributions from member countries which indicates the value placed on our interventions in their countries;
  14. Express our appreciation to the World Bank for 26 years of strong support to capacity building in Africa through ACBF and urge the Bank to continue and indeed intensify this support;
  15. Express our appreciation to the African Development Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme, the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa and Afreximbank  for their continued support;
  16. Reaffirm the need to secure the long-term sustainability of the Foundation and commit to intensifying our resource mobilisation efforts by scaling up and honouring Member Country contributions to ensure that targets are met, while engaging closely with all funding partners and emerging donors to ensure the Foundation is appropriately resourced particularly considering the evolving funding landscape;
  17. Adopt, in this regard, and pledge to action the conclusions and recommendations of the Resource Mobilization Committee of the ACBF Board of Governors
  18. Acknowledge the work done to ensure a stable internal control environment at the Foundation as evidenced by the internationally compliant governance framework and robust systems in place;
  19. Welcome the unqualified audit report received by the Foundation for Fiscal Year 2017 and urge the Executive Board and Management to continue to foster a culture of accountability, efficiency as well as financial and operational risk management at the Foundation in order to continue delivering high-quality and impactful results on the continent;
  20. Express our profound gratitude to the government and people of the Republic of Cameroon for the hospitality extended to us during the meeting;
  21. Look forward to the next meeting of the Board of Governors 

Adopted today on 20th day of July in Yaoundé, Cameroon

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