Addis Ababa — The Chair of the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA) Executive Board, Olusegun Obasanjo, also former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on Tuesday officially launched CoDA office at the African Union Headquarters.
Also present during the launch were former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, the Chair of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa; the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Ambassador Kwesi Quartey; the Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Mr. Abdalla Hamdok and Abdoulie Janneh, former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Alternate Chair of the CoDA Executive Board, among numerous other notable dignitaries.
Mr. Obasanjo thanked the AUC for providing office space to CoDA noting that hosting this platform here allows for the continuation of relevant debate and dialogue on matters of relevance to Africa's situation, while also giving it the benefit of being in the most engaging location to achieve this.
The launch of the CoDA office also highlighted the platform's renewed efforts towards the reduction of Illicit Financial Flows from Africa. In this regard, Chair of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows, Mr. Mbeki challenged CoDA saying that 'given the severity of issues which face the continent, the platform must take into account the context of the rapidly changing world when seeking to advance Africa's transformation and future'.
In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Janneh, the alternate Chair of the CoDA Executive Board, expressed appreciation to both former Heads of States for their unwavering commitment and efforts towards Africa's development.
He further recognized the continuous support of the African Union Commission to CoDA, indicating that the new office represents Africa's stronger stamp of ownership of the platform.
Mr. Janneh emphasized the challenge of Africa's financing, particularly within the margins of the Illicit Financial Flows from the continent which continue to impact negatively on development.
In this regard, he indicated that CoDA will be focusing on the implementation of the recommendations of the Report of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows also known as the Mbeki Report, as part of its mandate and dedication to the agenda of stemming these outflows from the continent.
Note to editors
Founded in 2009, the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA) exists as a special initiative of its three convening organizations - AUC, ECA and African Development Bank (AfDB). It has successfully worked as a platform for the ongoing engagement in rigorous and candid dialogue on crucial questions of vital interest to the future of the continent. It is policy-oriented, working in collaboration with other African and international organizations to address the issues of Africa's security, peace, governance and development through inclusive dialogue between diverse and influential groups of stakeholders drawn from government leaders, policy makers, civil society, the private sector and the media.
It also advocates their recommendations effectively to influence policy. In addition, the institution aims to build strong partnerships and synergies with leading African research institutions with the objective of grounding its work on solid scientific findings. It aims to place particular attention on bridging the gap between the research and policy making communities in Africa. CoDA, which has been a key member of the anti-IFF Working Group (IWG) will be directly tackling the issue of IFFs.