27 March 2012

African Union Deputy Chairperson Hosts an ACBF Pledging Meeting

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African Union Deputy Chairperson Hosts an ACBF Pledging Meeting, Presided over by The Chair of the Foundation's Board of Governors, Demonstrating Further Support and Ownership by African Member States of the Continent's Capacity Development Agenda.

This Addis Ababa pledging meeting moves African contributions to close to USD20 million in new commitments to the African Capacity Building Foundation by African members. South Africa also announces intention to join ACBF as a member.

On the fringes of the 5th Joint Annual meetings of the AU Commission and UN Economic Commission for Africa conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) today held a pledging meeting with its African member states, as part of its continental fundraising efforts. African countries that are members of ACBF include Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. These member countries, which are represented by their Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, make up the Board of Governors, the highest policymaking body of the ACBF, together with 4 multilateral agencies and 12 Bi-lateral partners.

Welcoming the Ministers to the meeting, the Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Nigerian Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala emphasised the need for African countries to increase their financial support to the Foundation, in view of the continent's pressing capacity needs and the transformational change agenda. She indicated that African financial support is critical to leverage further support from the Foundation's non-African donors.

Speaking at the same occasion, ACBF Executive Secretary, Dr Frannie Leautier said that African sponsorship and ownership of the Foundation has increased over the years: "When ACBF was created 21 years ago, there were only 12 African member countries. In the last 5 years, Africa's paid-in contributions have almost tripled, which shows a growing level of support, commitment and confidence. It is in this spirit that ACBF is holding this pledging meeting. Investment in the Foundation by African countries underscores the important mandate of our pan African institution – to build sustainable human and institutional capacity. It also demonstrates the critical importance of capacity building in Africa's empowerment and development. Investing in our people and institutions can only benefit the continent, and is, in fact, a sure way of sustaining our investments for future African generations."

Chairing the pledging session, H.E. Mr. Erastus Mwencha, the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission reminded the audience of ACBF's support to capacity development in African countries and the Foundation's support to the AU Commission over the past 20 years, indicating that ACBF is an important, strategic institution for African countries.

The Deputy-Chairperson noted that transforming economies requires enhancing capacities, hence the pressing need for Africa to support ACBF.

The meeting in Addis Ababa is the second ACBF pledging conference in support of the Foundation's Third Strategic Medium Term Plan. An earlier session was held in Arusha, Tanzania, in September 2011, where a commitment of USD14.6 million was pledged by the African members. At the same meeting; USD100 million was pledged by the World Bank and USD 10 million by Sweden. Support for the Foundation's five-year strategy has also been expressed by the African Development Bank, Canada, Denmark, and Finland, who all have expressed their full support to ACBF. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has expressed its interest in working with the Foundation at programmatic level.

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 ACBF has a strategic MoU with the African Union, which currently serves as an Observer on the ACBF Board of Governors.

About SMTPIII

ACBF's new strategy has been developed to address the key challenges the continent is facing and will be facing in the coming years and hinges on refined and refocused operations of the Foundation. The strategy is informed by the evolution of ACBF's experience over time, the impact that the Foundation has achieved in the area of capacity development, the demands that are forthcoming from members, and the resource envelope the Foundation expects to have available. ACBF is adjusting its approach to emerging country-specific and regional contexts, in order to ensure more flexibility in its response, as well as improving its effectiveness and developing capability to tackle new areas, in anticipation of the challenges ahead.

For further information on ACBF, please contact:

a.mpunzwana@acbf-pact.org

b.kone@acbf-pact.org

r.ongeso@acbf-pact.org

African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)

PO Box 1562, Harare

ZIMBABWE

Tel: + 263 4 700208/210

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