Sunday, June 1, 2008


THE African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) has interacted with some of its constituents in the country to review their partnerships and find new avenues of collaboration.
Established in 1991 through the collaborative effort of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), some African governments and bilateral donors, the Harare-based organisation is a response to the severity of capacity problems and the challenges to investing in indigenous human capital and institutions in sub-Saharan Africa, which is seen as a critical gap in development.
A three-member delegation of ACBF, led by Dr Edwin Forlemu, the Executive Secretary, met with representatives from the Centre for Policy Analysis, the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), the Association of African Universities (AAU), the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) and the Economic Policy Management (EPM) programme.
Briefing the press after the meeting, Dr Forlemu said ACBF had come a long way in partnering institutions in Africa to build the capacity of professionals in the area of economic policy initiatives and management.
“Capacity building is a long-term endeavour, as we have to deal with different groups at different stages. We have learnt not to assume on our results and are here to look out for the indicators of results, the effectiveness of our partner institutions, their responsiveness to stakeholder challenges and the sustainability of our efforts,” he told journalists.
He was, however, pleased with the output of partner institutions, saying that they were contributing effectively to government policy.
“The CEPA issues opinions on public policy and they are noted by the government and other institutions like the IDEG. These are some indicators of the quality of our programmes,” he said.
Dr Forlemu pointed out that through the ABCF’s partnerships, highly qualified professionals had been attracted from the Diaspora to the continent to contribute effectively to the administration and management of sound economic and development initiatives, while newly trained professionals had been attracted to stay in their countries and contribute.
That, according to him, had helped to end the brain drain in that area, which was as equally challenging as the brain drain of medical professionals.
Summarising his meeting with the Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, and the Chief Director of the ministry, Nana Juaben-Boaten Siriboe, Dr Forlemu said the two parties had discussed how the government’s partnership with the ACBF could become more active.
He explained that Ghana was an important player in Africa and that having the country’s active support would enhance the efforts of the foundation.
He said there were two levels of support that African governments could give to ACBF. The first was at the level of the foundation, where all member states could take a seat on the board of governors and demonstrate their support for the ACBF, while making inputs and owning the programmes initiated.
The second was for governments to co-sponsor programmes in their countries, also as a demonstration of their support.
Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, the Executive Director of IDEG, in his submissions, was of the view that the quality of the ACBF’s work and support could be seen in programmes such as the EPM programme being run at the Economics Department of the University of Ghana, as well as similar ones at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), AAU, CEPA and GIMPA.
Through these, good contributions to policy in the economy and development efforts were made, he added.


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