The Fifth Annual Meeting of the African Community of Practice on Managing for Development Results (AfCoP) opened on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 in Tunis with emphasis on the need to support achieve economic growth that is shared by everyone.
In a speech at the opening of the three-day conference on the theme, "Putting Results First in Africa," the African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Donald Kaberuka, underscored the importance of the AfCoP and its objective to improved conditions for people across Africa.
President Kaberuka identified governance ineffectiveness and lack of accountability; the absence of economic diversification; weak economic integration; and the lack of an enabling environment for private sector among the key challenges to Africa's development.
AfCoP was instrumental in shaping the 2010 Tunis Consensus and defining a vision of development driven by strong and inclusive private-sector-led growth, effective and accountable states, stronger economic integration, wide knowledge sharing, and South-South Cooperation, he said.
"Africa is facing many challenges as a result of the current economic and financial crisis. The recent events in North Africa reveal that the growth experienced in Africa over the past decade is not sufficient."
"Too many Africans have been excluded from its benefits. Strong, inclusive private-led growth through trade and investment is needed to create economic opportunities and ensure equal access for all," he said in the statement read by the AfDB's Regional and Country Operations Programmes and Policy Vice-President, Zondo Sakala.
Ministers from Kenya and Niger used the platform to provide their countries' AfCoP-MfDR experiences and the interest generated by local communities of practice.
Niger's Minister of State for Planning, National Development and Community Development, Amadou Boubacar Cisse, reported that CoP-Niger, established in 2008, is currently catering to the training needs of over 5,000 people from different professions.
According to him, AfCoP-MfDR must explore innovative approaches to regional integration to create economies of scale that will stimulate trade and investment required to launch Africa into the global economy.
Kenya's Assistant Minister of State for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030, Peter Kenneth, says KCoP-MfDR had spawned a proliferation of collaborative spaces for learning and knowledge sharing since it was launched in 2010.
According to the Minister, enhancing good governance includes the fight against corruption, implementing reforms in the justice system; deepening law and order reforms; and implementing comprehensive reforms in the public service through adoption of Result Based Management in the public service.
The Africa Capacity Building Foundation Executive Secretary, Frannie Léautier, underlined the importance and benefits of knowledge exchange for Managing for Development Results and how the Foundation is leveraging its experiences by working with continent-wide knowledge in support of AfCoP.
AfCoP's co-chair, Abdou Karim Lo, explained that African economic integration was of paramount importance at all levels, noting that AfCoP will create communities of practice within the West African Economic and Monetary Union and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. He thanked the Bank and the ACBF for their continued support.
According to the AfDB Quality Assurance and Results Department Director, Simon Mizrahi, the conference is focused on how Managing for Development Results can concretely help improve people's lives, at the regional dimension; building effective states, and bringing about greater accountability.
Participants are also defining an African Framework for Achieving Development Results in which the AfCoP takes place as well as concrete actions to make the AfCoP more effective.
Africa Knowledge for Results (Afrika4R), a framework for action in support of institutional reforms with a focus on regional integration, will be launched at the conference.
The MfDR in Africa gathered over 100 participants in government, civil society, private sector and development partners from the USA, France, Italy and more than 25 African countries.
Launched in Kampala, Uganda, in 2007, AfCoP is currently represented in 43 African countries and currently has some 2,500 members from all walks of life.