The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) on Friday signed a grant agreement of US$2.5 million with Femmes Africa Solidarité(FAS) for the development of a Master's Degree Programme in Gender and Peace Building.
The post-graduate programme will be implemented by FAS, in partnership with University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar(UCAD) and the University of Peaceof Costa Rica(UPEACE). The objective of the programme is to empower a cadre of specialists,who will incorporate gender perspectives and dimensions into peace building processes in Africa. The programme will run from October, 2012.
This unique programme will facilitate the expansion of academic research on issues relating to gender, peace and security and it will influence the content and direction of mainstream research. The rationale for ACBF's intervention is based on the need for improved and quality dialogue across all countries in the area of gender and peace building. ACBF realises that this issue is multi-dimensional and that multi parties need to be involved for the continent to be able to address gender and peace building.
Dialogue, with a combination of learning and research,remains one of Africa's most positive attributes and is instrumental in creating knowledge networks of expertise that rooted in African reality. The partnership between ACBF, FAS, UCAD and UPEACE brings with it a pool of knowledge that will upscale the existing knowledge, enabling both innovation and the generation of new ways of dealing with gender and peace building.
"ACBF recognises that peace is the basis for democracy, good governance and prosperity for all our nations. One of the three strategic pillars that ACBF will focus on over the next five years, is enhancing critical capacities to promote political and social stability for transformational change.
It is our hope that through this collaborative Masters programme, capacities will be enhanced in three ways – through theinstitutional development of universities, building a critical mass of skilled cadres to uncover the best ways of bringing peace to the continent and also by institutional strengthening of women's organisations, "statedDrFrannie Léautier, ACBF Executive Secretary.
ACBF's support to women's organisations is growing and with it, the realisation that developing Africa's human resources includes capacitating women at all levels, since their contribution to economic growth is evidenced by their roles in areas such as agriculture and food security. Dr Léautier concluded: "In order for Africa to be the growth pole, the continent's wealth in natural resources must also equate to wealth in human resources. Women's capacity development is critical, since they constitute almost 50% of the continent's population".This grant to FAS signals our intent to ensure that this happens.
Speaking at the signing, Ms Bineta Diop, President of the FAS Board stated: "FAS is proud of the quality and continuity of our partnership with the African Capacity Building Foundation. This partnership offers us the opportunity to asses and respond to the current needs of Africa in terms of training in Gender and Peace Building – a major priority of our Governments and indeed, the African Union."
ACBF'scurrent support to women's organisation's in Africa includesthe Projet de Renforcement des Capacités des ONG Feminines au Mali (RECOFEM); the Non-governmental Organisations' Coordinating Council (NGOCC) in Zambia; the African Women Development Fund (AWDF) in Ghana; the Capacités des réseaux des Femmes pour Lutter Contre la Pauvreté en Republique du Cameroun (CAREF) and the Projet de Renforcement des capacités de L'Association des Femmes de L'Afrique de L'Ouest in Senegal (PRC-AFAO).
In Senegal ACBF has invested US$ 22 763 857over the years tovarious national and regional projects and programmes. These include, Le Projet de Renforcement de la Responsabilité Financière pour la Bonne Gouvernance (PRECAREF) ; Le Centre d'Etudes de politiques pour le Développement (CEPOD); L'Association des Femmes de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (AFAO); Le Projet de formation pour le Master en Banque et Finance, Centre d'Etudes Supérieures en Gestion (CESAG) and Le projet de renforcement des capacités du Conseil pour le Développement de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales en Afrique (CODESRIA).
In closing the signing ceremony, Mr Alioune Badara Cissé, the Senegalese Minister of Foreign Affairs, reiterated his Government's commitment in supporting the initiative. "This is, without a doubt, an exemplary initiative" he said, adding: "This Master's II is a unique example in Africa and is an act of trust and an honor for our country. This initiative is supported at the highest level, the office of H.E. the President of the Republic of Senegal, given the impact and the crucial importance of this project on gender and peace building in Africa.
The government will assume its responsibility in the delivery of this programme, which is in addition to ACBF's technical and financial support to Senegal through the Project on Capacity Building for Financial Accountability and Transparency (PRECAREF), aimed at deepening structural and sectoral reforms and the other initiative, PNBG, that has been designed to support the implementation of national good governance.
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, please contact:
African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)
PO Box 1562, Harare
Tel: + 263 4 700208/210