AfDB Partners Discuss New Initiatives to Support Regional Integration
Tunis, 10 July 2008 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and the World Bank, in collaboration with the African Union, the UN Economic commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), on Monday, July 7, 2008, in Tunis organized a donors’ conference on capacity building initiatives.
The meeting was a follow-up to a decision reached during a Regional Economic Communities (RECs) workshop in South Africa in March 2008, to consult with donors on institutional mechanisms for implementing capacity building initiatives. Representatives of the AfDB, the AU Commission, the World Bank, the NEPAD Secretariat and twelve RECs attended the meeting.
Speaking on the occasion, the AfDB Director for NEPAD, Regional Integration and Trade Department (ONRI), Philibert Afrika, stressed the need to enhance the capacity of RECs which constitute the building blocks for regional integration.
Delegates acknowledged the initiatives taken by the donor community to strengthen RECs capacity and advance the notion that reinforcing RECs capacity would require a clear understanding of RECs objectives, identification of their needs, and re-assessment of ongoing regional projects.
They expressed the need to continue developing a capacity development initiative and suggested four key steps: under the leadership of the AU Commission to prepare a revised concept note and a detailed proposal based on "Gap" analysis of individual RECs, and develop a proposal on how the Paris Declaration could be adapted to cover support of regional projects and RECs capacity development. They also underscored the need to develop a menu of options for pooling funding mechanisms to enable the financing of the Implementation Action Plan; and operationalize an implementation plan for the protocol on the relations between the AU and the RECs.
Delegates are expected to meet and examine the proposed Capacity Development Initiative based on a preliminary Implementation Action Plan.
The conference was attended by representatives from France, the European Commission, the African Union, Spain, DFID-UK and Africa Region, the Canadian International Development Agency, the World Bank, Germany, Portugal, Japan, African Capacity Building Foundation, the NEPAD Secretariat, the AfDB and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.