AfDB Provides USD 12 Million Grant Resources to Finance ACBF Capacity Building Activities

13/01/2011
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Tunis – 12 January 2011- The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 in Tunis signed a USD 12-million grant agreement to finance the ACBF’s  activities in Africa.

Signing the agreement, the AfDB Chief Economist and Vice-President, Mthuli Ncube, revealed that at a time the ACBF, which was created in 1991 by the World Bank, the UNDP and the AfDB, was celebrating its 20th anniversary, it had actively supported close to 250 projects and programs in 44 African countries. The Bank’s Chief Economist expressed his satisfaction that the Foundation had contributed to the continent’s development by building indigenous capacity for development policy formulation as well as by enhancing the interface between the public sector, the private sector and civil society. This, according to him, has helped to reverse the continent’s brain drain while ensuring the retention as well as intensive utilization of existing capacity.   

However, Mr Ncube noted that the continent still lacked capacity to leverage and transform its immense natural resources from being a curse to a blessing. He regretted that lack of capacity in most African countries remains a major constraint to the building of competitive economies. The AfDB Chief Economist further called for an African consensus along the lines of the Washington consensus or the G20 consensus, under which Africa itself will play a major role in the decisions that affect its future. He explained that this is imperative at a time several African countries are celebrating 50 years of independence while the underlying reasons for creating ACBF still remained valid.   

“Today, there is need for a public sector that is knowledgeable, efficient and committed; a private sector that is innovative, competitive while being conscious of the impact on the environment; a civil society that is constructively responsive; and a socio-political environment which promotes good governance and inclusive growth. In other terms, there is a need for a strong, sustained and shared growth,” he concluded.

The ACBF Executive Secretary, Frannie Léautier signed the grant agreement for her Foundation. Ths thanked the Bank for consistently supporting its operations from inception. She also noted that in addition to contributions amounting to some USD 24 million, the new grant was particularly consistent with the capacity building strategies of the two institutions. She also praised the guiding role of the African Development Institute in coordinating the capacity building input from various departments of the Bank and for being at the helm of Bank Group warm collaborative partnership with the ACBF.

The grant agreement is a worthy recognition of the tremendous work done by Ms Léautier and her team in restoring the credibility of the ACBF and restoring its internal capacity to provide support to countries in a way that complement their actions. Under her able leadership, the Foundation has regained its momentum and African countries are increasing their financial contributions and pledges to the Foundation.