Interview with CoDA Focal Point at AfDB, Lamin Manneh

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interview Co DA Lamine

“Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA) Meeting Ends with Far-reaching decisions”, says AfDB Focal Point, Lamin Manneh

Question: What were the major issues discussed during the two days meeting hosted by the AfDB this week end in Tunis (27-28 February 2010)?

Answer: You may recall that CoDA held its second Board meeting on November 28, 2009, also in Tunis. The meeting held during this week end (27-28 February 2010) covered, among other items, two major issues, namely: The institutional transformation of CoDA; and CoDA’s 2010 work program.

Question: What were the outcomes of the meeting?

Answer: Concerning the issue of institutional transformation the discussions centered on making CoDA an independent non-governmental and non-profit African initiative which welcomes non-African personalities as well. In this regard, participants reviewed the prospective legal status of CoDA as well as sources of funding for its activities.

CoDA’s 2010 work program was the other major agenda item of the meeting. The work programme, in addition to the planned studies and fora on key development issues of the continent, will also focus on:

  • Advocacy work for Africa’s development, placing emphasis on key issues such as regional integration, governance, the financial crisis and climate change;
  • Sensitizing Africa and international opinion on its development needs and help to mobilize good will and resources for the attainment of the continent’s development objectives; 
  • ransforming CoDA as an institution to endow it with its own Chief Executive Officer and a lean secretariat, to ensure its effectiveness and especially its independence from its founding institutions, namely, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union Commission (AUC).

Question: Who are members of the CoDA?

Answer: CoDA is sponsored by, but is not a program of, the African Union Commission, the UNECA and the African Development Bank who established it on 6 May 2009 as a successor forum to the erstwhile Global Coalition for Africa (GCA) which was hosted by the World Bank. It is governed by a Board of eminent African and non-African personalities, chaired by H.E. Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana, and receives support from its founding institutions and the private sector. This support provided by the ADB, ECA and AUC in the institution’s fledgling years does not in any way compromise its independence.  Indeed, CoDA is a new, independent, international, African-owned forum that identifies and discusses issues of importance to Africa’s development within a global context. It is a think tank that advocates for the continent, brings together a range of stakeholders and expertise to promote dialogue, and provides a platform for African voices to be heard. It is policy-oriented, and works in collaboration with other African and international organizations addressing issues of Africa’s security, peace, governance and development.

Question: What is the way forward?

Answer: Discussions and the advocacy work will continue in favour of Africa. In line with the “Stakeholder Dialogue on the Financial Crisis”, organized in November 2009 in Tunis, the institution will continue to produce quality studies on key issues and nurture stakeholder dialogue.  The next CoDA meeting will be held on May 25, 2010 on the margin of the AfDB Annual Meetings to be held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

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