The new Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), PROF. Emmanuel Nnadozie, has this week started his ambitious vision of repositioning ACBF with the first high level mission in connection with the 22nd Summit of the African Union.
The Executive Secretary, accordingly, is actively engaging donors and partners of ACBF alike, undertaking back to back meetings and courtesy calls as of Monday, January 27 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where decision makers from around Africa and beyond have gathered on the occasion of the AU Summit underway.
As part of this endeavour, Prof. Nnadozie had on Monday met with Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency. On the occasion, the two sides have discussed ways of further enhancing the commendable cooperation between the two institutions. Accordingly, the Executive Secretary and the CEO agreed that capacity building is critical for Africa's development, especially in accelerating regional integration. To this end, both have committed to exert more effort to support capacity development based on respective comparative advantage. The meeting also reviewed the current state of partnership between ACBF and the NEPAD Agency, under which ACBF provides effective support to NEPAD's transformation process. The CEO, thus, expressed gratitude to ACBF for the institutional support extended to NEPAD and said he hopes this support will continue. Prof. Nnadozie on his part expressed ACBF's commitment to helping develop capacity for the implementation of NEPAD programmes. The two sides further discussed the need for improvement in the partnership including a joint programming between ACBF and the NEPAD Agency for better coordination of the capacity building efforts to ensure Africa gets the best out of its institutions. The Executive Secretary and the CEO finally discussed the need for a joint effort with a renewed impetus in the efforts to building the capacity of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs).
In a related development, the Executive Secretary on the same day held a meeting with Ambassador Gary Quince, Head of the European Union Delegation to the African Union.
The two sides deliberated on several issues of paramount importance and on the impeccable partnership they enjoy and ways to boosting the partnership in line with the Executive Secretary’s aggressive drive to reposition ACBF as a strategically important Pan-African institution. A number of key messages came out of the meeting which came at an ideal time as the EU is preparing for the next EU-Africa Summit to be hosted by the EU in Brussels in April this year. Ambassador Quince, therefore, stated that the EU-Africa Summit with its theme “Investing in People, Prosperity and Peace” will discuss several issues, mostly related to ACBF’s core activities. This Summit, for instance, will take stock of what has been achieved and reprioritize the EU supports. EU proposed priorities pending AU approval are Peace and Security, Inclusive and Sustainable Growth, as well as Cooperation and Global Issues.
Accordingly, capacity building comes as a key feature in these priorities, the Ambassador underlined. This is critically important given the consensus between the EU and the AU that foreign technical assistance should not continue to be the delivery mode for capacity building activities.
Speaking on his part, Prof. Nnadozie stated that the Foundation has achieved a lot in 22 years but that its results are not well communicated and popularized; hence the Executive Secretary said communication is his top priority ahead. “Africa needs to put capacity building back at the center of development debate; for example, Africa’s key challenges, such as the scourge of illicit fund flows should be addressed from a capacity perspective for a lasting solution,” the Executive Secretary underlined.
He also explained that ACBF has drastically reduced its overhead costs and has therefore become more attractive for partners as they will not have to cover the core staff costs in a few years. After devising what appears to be a promising landscape for capacity building, the two parties acknowledged that building capacity of RECs and enhancing coordination between RECs and the AU were also key priorities in Africa’s development. It was also felt that success in Africa’s 2063 Agenda requires work from today and that capacity building forms a key component if any success is to be achieved. As a way forward, it was agreed that ACBF keeps the EU Delegation informed on its AU engagement on capacity building so as to position itself as a partner of choice for building the AUC’s capacity.
The meeting held at the office of the EU Delegation to the AU was also attended by Ms. Anna Burylo, Head of Operations Section, EU Delegation, Mr. Jorge Gallego-Lizon, Governance and Human Rights Advisor to the EU Delegation, and Mr. Bakary Kone, Manager of External Affairs and Partnership Department of the ACBF.
PROF. Nnadozie, who assumed duty as ACBF Executive Secretary as of December 1, 2013 will continue the series of high level engagements until Friday, 31 on the sidelines of the AU Summit, as part of his aggressive plan to reposition ACBF.
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About the African Capacity Building Foundation
Established in 1991, ACBF’s mission is to build sustainable human and institutional capacity for sustainable growth, poverty reduction and economic transformation in Africa. The ultimate goal is to improve the lives and prospects of people throughout the African Continent. ACBF supports capacity development in Africa through grants, knowledge sharing and technical assistance to countries and regional and sub-regional organizations. ACBF’s approach to capacity development focuses on addressing capacity needs and gaps as well as on stakeholder ownership of interventions, project and program sustainability and synergy of interventions with other development funding institutions. For further information go to: www.acbf-pact.org