Monday, March 28, 2011

Gambia Identifies Human and Institutional Capacity

Joins African Capacity Building Foundation
The Finance Minister Mam Burry Njie has told a team from African Capacity Building Foundation that the Government of the Gambia identified human and institutional capacity as key factors in the process of formulating and managing effective development policies for sustained growth and poverty eradication.
He said the Gambia has been partnering with the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) for several years and has benefited from the technical and financial assistance of the foundation on two projects: The Gambia Public/Private Sector-Civil Society Interface Capacity Building Project and a project supporting the Association of Non-Governmental Organizations of The Gambia.

He was speaking at the signing ceremony of a membership agreement between the government and ACBF on Wednesday March 23, 2011 at the Ministry of Finance in Banjul.
“It is therefore very important and fitting for the Government of The Gambia to join the membership of the African Capacity Building Foundation. We have no doubt in our minds that there are greater benefits for joining the Foundation,” he said.
He said it is widely recognized that capacity building matters for development and the government is taking one step further in consolidating the relationship it have with ACBF by officially becoming a member.
He commended the Executive Secretary for pushing a country programme for the Gambia to become the 35th African member of the Foundation.
For her part, Dr. Frannie Leautie, the Executive Secretary of ACBF disclosed that the Gambia also becomes the 13th member of ECOWAS to join the Foundation.
“ACBF will work in partnership with the Government of The Gambia to further build the human and institutional capacities of the country and provide the country a platform to share its experience with the rest of the Continent,” she said.
According to her, The Gambia confirms beyond its own faith in capacity as a key parameter for the development of the nation, its commitment to capacity development is central in the process of transforming economies of the continent for a better future of our people.
“The joining of an African country is always an important event for ACBF, for each new African membership reinforces the continental ownership of the Foundation, which is the most important message to our non-African donors,” she said.
Established 20 years ago to address the acute capacity challenges though investment in indigenous human capital and institutions in Africa,  the ACBF is made up of 45 African and non-African countries and four multilateral institutions (the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme and the International Monetary Fund).
“This signifies a strong commitment and investment by African governments to capacity development in Africa,” she said.

The Gambia joins African Capacity Building Foundation
The membership of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) has increased as The Gambia signed a membership agreement to become the 35th African country to join the ACBF yesterday.
“The signing of the agreement reiterates the commitment of African nations to ACBF, and signifies the political commitment of African governments to capacity development in Africa,” Ms. Franneir Leautier, Executive Secretary ACBF said at the signing ceremony at Sheraton Hotel Spa and Resort, Brufut.
According to her, ACBF’s presence in The Gambia began in 2002 with the approval of a USD850, 000 Grant for the implementation of the Gambia Public-Private Sector-Civil Society Interface Capacity Building Project (GICAP).
In 2008 ACBF approved a four-year USD 1 million grant to The Association of Non Government Organizations (TANGO) for the Non-State Actors Support Project with the objective of strengthening the capacity of non-government organizations to engaged and dialogue in public policy processes.
Ms. Leautier said as Gambia continues to forge ahead in its drive to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), capacity development has been highlighted as one of the major constraints in attaining these goals.
She quoted the UNDP to have said: “The challenges faced by the Gambia in meeting a number of the MDGs reflect the absence of an integrated planning framework that can effectively monitor national and local progress. The lack of such a framework is compounded by inadequate institutional capacity and resource constraints.”
She also noted that Gambia’s Second Poverty Reduction and Strategy Paper (PRSP II 2007 - 2011) states that a major constraint in the implementation of the country’s PRSP I was a human resource scarcity.
“The high attrition rate and turnover of staff in the civil service led to major capacity constraints and declining absorptive capacities. Scarce technical and financial resource needed to address the critical implementation bottlenecks faced in implementation aggravated the situation,” she said.
She explained that ACBF’s support to TANGO, the NGO umbrella organization was a continuation, in collaboration with other donors in the country, of further integration and networking within and between sectors and institutions.
Dr Leautier stated that “ACBF will work in partnership with the Government of The Gambia to further build the human and institutional capacities of the country. ACBF celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2011 and takes forward the recently adopted Kigali Resolution on capacity development in Africa. ACBF said it remain guided by the needs and demands of its member countries.

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