23 February 2012

African Capacity Building Foundation Joins African Development Bank on the African Governance Outlook Initiative to Anchor Good Governance and Tackle Corruption in Africa

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Regional delegates gather in Accra to analyse contextual factors shaping financial governance in their respective countries.

The African Governance Outlook (AGO), a collaborative initiative between the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) aims to provide an effective African-based diagnostic tool on financial governance, on a regional scale. ACBF has a mandate to develop capacity in Africa across a spectrum of areas including financial management and accountability through good governance. The tool, which involves national research institutes and think-tanks, is designed to improve both development effectiveness through the generation of knowledge, as well as the operational effectiveness of the AfDB, through strengthening internal analytical capabilities on financial governance. ACBF's Strategic Medium Plan, SMTP III (2012-2016) specifically identifies capacity development to improve good governance as a cornerstone of its interventions in the coming years and calls for strategic partnerships with development institutions with shared objectives.

The AGO is being piloted in phases in selected African countries. The countries were selected based on accession to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and availability of data sets for the AGO research instrument. The first pilot phase covered Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Tanzania and Rwanda. The second phase includes Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal and Uganda. Following the pilot phase, AGO will be implemented in full throughout the rest of Africa.

The Accra inception workshop with AGO national partners involves a review of the AGO implementation arrangements, methodology and practical lessons from the first phase of the project. The workshop also affords delegates with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the rationale for AGO, its methodology and implementation modalities. Participants include Country Research Teams from participating countries, development partners in Ghana, ACBF and AfDB representatives, observers from ACBF Partner Projects in Ghana, and media representatives.

In her welcoming address, ACBF Executive Secretary, Dr Frannie Leautier, highlighted that the African Governance Outlook provides a framework for analyzing contextual factors that shape financial governance in a particular country. This, she said, entails analysing the underlying factors that determine financial governance performance and trends over time, by drilling down to explain the reasons for such performance. The AGO framework is based on a two-level approach, comprising 25 qualitative indicators of financial governance variables, complemented by qualitative analysis of public financial management systems.

"African countries have achieved significant progress in improving governance practices", said Dr Leautier, "but considerable challenges remain to anchor good governance and tackle corruption. This convention is both timely and relevant, as it involves several key stakeholders within and outside government, all with a vested interest in ensuring financial accountability on the continent. This joint effort with the African Development Bank forms part of a deepening partnership between our two institutions. The approach taken to assess financial governance achievements using local experts and validate the results by cross-checking with country officials is in keeping with the principles of the Paris Declaration and Accra Agenda for Action on harmonization of donor efforts, and further contributes to the implementation of the key agreement in Busan Outcome Document, to rely on country systems."

Officially opening the Workshop, Mrs Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, AfDB Resident Representative in Ghana, said: "AGO's strategic framework is built on the premise that strengthening governance is complex as the challenges are broad, interdependent and cross cutting. Success can therefore only be achieved by all stakeholders working together. As an African voice on governance, the Bank's flagship publication is designed with a broad partnership framework that establishes balanced ownership between the Bank and its strategic partners, including you. The Bank's role is to play a catalytic role in establishing an African-owned and led agenda on good financial governance. In rolling out the AGO, the Bank will capitalise on its existing relationship with its national and international development partners. I would like to reiterate from the outset that AGO is carefully designed to add value and complement existing African governance assessment tools."

About the African Capacity Building Foundation

ACBF was established in February 1991. It is the outcome of collaboration between African governments and the international donor community. Its mission is to build sustainable human and institutional capacity for sustainable growth and poverty reduction in Africa. ACBF's vision is for Africa to be recognized for its socio-political and economic capabilities and endowments a continent with effective institutions and policies acquired through sustained investment in people and institutions. The Foundation is a leader, major partner and centre of excellence for capacity building in Africa.

The African Union currently serves as an Observer on the ACBF Board of Governors.

For further information on ACBF, please contact:

c.noumon@acbf-pact.org

a.mpunzwana@acbf-pact.org

r.kambarami@acbf-pact.org

African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)

PO Box 1562, Harare

ZIMBABWE

Tel: + 263 4 700208/210

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